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Mr. McFadden: The seven Regional Industrial Development Boards are non-statutory non- departmental public bodies. The first four Boards were established following the passage of the Industry Act 1972 and were the Northern Industrial Development Board, the North West Industrial Development Board, the Yorkshire and Humberside Industrial Development Board and the South West Industrial Development Board. The West Midlands Board was established in 1984 following that year's Regional Policy Review. The London and South East and East of England Boards were established following the 1993 Review of the Assisted Areas.

When Corby became a development area in 1979, the Yorkshire and Humberside Development Board became a joint board with the East Midlands. The Northern Industrial Development Board became the North East Industrial Development Board in 1982 when Cumbria ceased to be part of the Department of Trade and Industry's northern region.

None of the boards are allocated budgets as none entail public expenditure apart from the remuneration of travel and subsistence costs of members.

The role of the boards is to advise the regional development agencies on individual company applications for regional assistance between £250,000 and £1.99 million, except the East of England Board, which advises on applications between £100,000 and £1.99 million.

During 2008-09 we conducted a review of the boards in consultation with the Cabinet Office to ensure that their governance arrangements remained relevant in view of the significant changes to the way in which support for business in the regions is handled since they were established, particularly the creation of regional development agencies and the delegation to them of responsibility of operating business support schemes previously undertaken by the Government office network. This review concluded that the appropriate way forward would be to replace the boards with advisory investment panels, to be appointed and supported entirely by the regional development agencies. It is expected that the agencies will appoint new advisory panels to replace the boards over the course of 2009-10.

Research: Finance

Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the level of expenditure by his Department and its predecessors on grants for research and development in each region in each of the last three years; and what his Department's budget for such expenditure is for (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. [282816]

Kevin Brennan: Responsibility for delivering Grant for Research and Development is devolved to the Regional Development Agencies. RDA expenditure on Grant for Research and Development in years 2006-07 to 2008-09 is shown in the following table, together with the budgets for 2009-10 to 2010-11. LDA is reviewing its budget for the period 2009-10 and 20101-11. SWRDA has not yet set its budget for 2010-11.

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Expenditure (£) Budget(£)
RDA 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11























































Royal Mail: Stoke-on-Trent

Joan Walley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if the Secretary of State will have discussions with regeneration partners in Stoke-on-Trent on (a) the job losses and (b) undertakings given to retain Royal Mail jobs in Stoke-on-Trent arising from the transfer of sorting operations to Wolverhampton; and if he will make a statement. [290816]

Mr. McFadden: Under reforms put in place by the Postal Services Act 2000, Royal Mail management was given greater commercial freedom to run the company without interference from Government. Both management and the unions wanted the Government to introduce these changes. Decisions about the movement of sorting operations and retention of such operations in specific areas are, therefore, a matter for Royal Mail management. Royal Mail is seeking to rationalise its mail centre network to improve its efficiency in a market where volumes of mail have been falling at unprecedented levels.

Skilled Workers: Construction

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department takes to monitor the extent to which the standards needed to obtain a construction skills register card are met by glassworkers working on building sites. [289154]

Kevin Brennan: The Department does not monitor the operation of the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS), or the extent to which the standards needed to obtain scheme cards are met by glassworkers, or other workers. CSCS is not a Government scheme, although its role in driving improvement in health and safety performance, and competence in the construction industry, is welcome. It is owned and managed by the construction industry and unions.

Small Businesses: Government Assistance

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps the Government are taking to assist small businesses to overcome short-term cashflow problems. [266659]

Kevin Brennan [holding answer 30 March 2009]: The Government have and continues to take steps to assist small businesses to access the finance they need to overcome short-term cash-flow problems by:

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securing £27 billion lending commitments from Lloyds and RBS for additional lending to businesses this year;

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what support his Department has offered to small businesses in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) nationwide during the economic downturn. [268377]

Kevin Brennan: The new package of support to address the cash flow, credit and capital needs of businesses across the UK, announced by my noble Friend the Secretary of Sate on 14 January under the Real Help campaign, provides:

As of 12 August the number and value of EFG loans was as follows:

Area Number of loans offered Value of loans offered (£ million)




South Tyneside



North East



The Department records information on the Capital for Enterprise Fund on a regional basis. As of 12 August in the North East there was one enquiry under consideration.

Through One North East, the GBI scheme provided £17 million of funding to businesses, including SMEs, in the financial year ending 31 March. The Regional Enterprise Loan Fund has provided over £860,000 to SMEs in the last year, and the Transitional Loan Fund provided £9.9 million of funding to otherwise viable SMEs facing cash flow issues in the financial year ending 31 March.

South West Regional Development Agency: Finance

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding for each local authority in the South West region his Department has channelled through the South West Regional Development Agency in the latest period for which figures are available. [284416]

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Mr. McFadden [holding answer 6 July 2009]: The RDAs are financed through a single budget, a fund which pools money from all the contributing Government Departments (BIS, CLG, DECC, DEFRA, DCMS and UKTI). Funds are allocated to individual RDAs from this single budget and spent according to priorities established by each agency. None of the funds in the single budget is hypothecated-therefore funds are not 'channelled' through the RDAs towards any spending programme.

However, the table sets out a spatial breakdown of anticipated South West RDA single budget capital and revenue project expenditure directly on and in South West areas and sub-regions for 2009-11.

Area/sub-region Total 2009/11 (£ million)

West of England (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, and Bath and North East Somerset)


Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Exeter


Cornwall and Isles of Scilly


Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole






Wiltshire and Swindon


Region-wide programmes


Students: Fees and Charges

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many learners at further education colleges paid (a) no fees, (b) partial fees and (c) full fees in the latest period for which figures are available; [287030]

(2) how many people studying at further education level are entitled to partial or complete remission of fees in respect of (a) age, (b) previous skills levels, (c) status as a benefit or tax credit claimant and (d) employment status. [287031]

Mr. McFadden: Full funding is provided in respect of certain categories of learning and learners in line with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) funding guidance at:

This includes: learners aged 16-18, adults undertaking Skills for Life literacy or numeracy qualifications, first full level 2, and first full level 3 (where the learner is aged 19-25) qualifications. Learners in receipt of income-related benefits are also eligible for full fee remission. For adult learners, where full fee remission does not apply, the amount of public funding provided assumes a contribution towards the cost of the course from the learner or employer. In 2009-10, the assumed fee contribution will be 47.5 per cent., with the Government contributing the remaining 52.5 per cent.

The post-16 Education and Skills Statistical First Release (SFR) (June 2009) shows that 2,464,100 learners participated in LSC funded further education provision in the 2007-08 academic year (this excludes Train to Gain and Apprenticeships). It is not possible to distinguish between learners who received full and partial LSC funding in all cases, for example where an FE college or provider waives fees and they do not record whether
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this is the full or partial amount of fee owed. It is therefore not possible to provide a full breakdown in this way.

It is possible to identify the number of learning aims studied in 2007-08 where full fee remission has been provided in line with Government fee policy. This is shown in the following table.

Fee remission in respect of: Number of aims

Previous skill level (skills for life, level 2 and level 3 entitlement)


As a benefit or tax credit claimant


Of which in receipt of Job Seeker's allowance




Information is based on further education, adult and community learning and university for industry data-information is not available for work-based learning (WBL) data.
Learners with aims in more than one category will be counted once for every category in which they appear. However, where learners are eligible for more than one reason for a single aim, they will be recorded against only one category. Therefore, the total provided may not represent all of the people who are eligible for a particular category.
Individualised Learner Record, 2007-08.

Information on learners who pay the full fee amount themselves is not available.

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