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5 Jan 2010 : Column 244W—continued

Business: Capital Investment

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the level of investment by businesses has been in each of the last 10 years. [307341]

Ian Lucas: ONS statistics for the value and volume of business investment in the UK for each year between 1999 and 2008 are shown in the following table:

£ million

Business investment at current prices Business investment volumes, 2005 prices































(1) The 2005 figures exclude the effects of the transfer of BNFL reactors from public corporations to Government in the second quarter of 2005.

Business: West Midlands

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage business investment in the West Midlands. [307312]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 16 December 2009]: As part of its objectives to build a strong economy Government are providing a wide range of support to encourage business investment, both in the West Midlands and across the country as a whole.

In the PBR we announced our intention to continue to support business until recovery is secured. We are doing this through, for example, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Scheme which has been extended by 12 months. In the West Midlands, as of 9 December, lenders have logged 681 eligible cases with a value of £68.49 million, of which, 643 EFG loans have been offered amounting to £64.41 million. So far 538 EFG loans have been drawn down with a value of £52.48 million. We also announced the extension of empty property relief for a further year, estimated to cover 76 per cent. of empty properties in the West Midlands.

We are also taking action to ensure the foundations for growth are in place as we emerge from the economic downturn. As a result of Government bringing forward capital expenditure, Advantage West Midlands (AWM) has been able to invest £11.2 million to allow early commencement of work to redevelop Birmingham New Street Station, creating up to 400 new jobs and £1.8 million to accelerate the redevelopment of the former MG Rover site at Longbridge Birmingham, enabling an early start to the relocation of Bourneville college, securing 250 construction jobs. Furthermore, 9 per cent. of orders under the vehicle scrappage scheme have been placed in the West Midlands, which is broadly in line with car ownership in the region.

On 10 November we launched Partnerships for Growth: A national framework for regional and local economic development, the objectives of which include raising the rate of sustainable economic growth, increasing employment and increasing the economic performance of all English regions. AWM is already contributing to
5 Jan 2010 : Column 245W
this agenda through, for example, delivering over 12,805 Business Link Health Checks by the end of November 2009 and jointly investing £40 million with EMDA in the £130 million world-class Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)-a world-class research organisation to support companies and their supply chains in improving their manufacturing competitiveness. It is also providing investment in low carbon technology through its £2.4 million support for the Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator project and its £19 million support for the Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Programme, to accelerate the introduction of the next generation ultra low vehicle carbon vehicle.

AWM provides a range of other measures to help business. It has, for example, between April and September 2009, made grants totalling £736,000 to 15 companies for research and development and grants totalling £3.8 million to 46 companies for business investment. Through its Advantage Transition Fund, which ended in November 2009, it has made loans of more than £10 million. Arrangements are now being put in place for a successor fund, as part of a £44.8 million business support fund which includes:

Last year AWM was involved in a record number of inward investment successes such as the expansion of Deutsche Bank, which now employs 500 people in the region. This year it has been involved in a further 21 projects creating 645 jobs, with others in the pipeline, which it is hoped will lead to over 900 further jobs.

UKTI in the West Midlands is supporting companies in a variety of ways to grow their businesses internationally. It has supported over 540 companies so far this year to increase their exports through a variety of supported programmes including Passport to Export, a scheme for novice exporters to help them to export strategically and Gateway to Global Growth, for companies with two to 10 years exporting experience. Using additional funding provided by Advantage West Midlands, UKTI has so far assisted 330 companies to increase exports, which has led to 45 jobs being created and 91 jobs safeguarded.

Departmental Billing

Jenny Willott: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what proportion of invoices submitted to his Department have been paid within 10 days in each month since October 2008; and if he will make a statement. [307953]

Mr. McFadden: The following tables show (i) the volume of invoices received by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) since June 2009 and (ii) the percentage of invoices paid within 10 days by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its predecessors the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) since November 2008.

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Figures prior to June 2009 and November 2008 respectively are not available.

Month Volume of invoices received by BIS

June 2009


July 2009


August 2009


September 2009


October 2009


November 2009


10 day payment Percentage


November 2008


December 2008


January 2009


February 2009


March 2009


April 2009


May 2009



November 2008


December 2008


January 2009


February 2009


March 2009


April 2009


May 2009



June 2009


July 2009


August 2009


September 2009


October 2009


November 2009


Departmental Contracts

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department has entered into any contracts with Siemens or its subsidiaries since February 2009. [303765]

Mr. McFadden: Central records indicate that the following contracts have been entered into with Siemens Enterprise Communications Ltd. since February 2009.


March 2009

Specialist Call login Equipment


April 2009

ISO 27001 Certification and Support


July 2009

Photocopier provision


Departmental Publications

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 13 July 2009, Official Report, columns 190-1W, on business: overseas trade, if he will place in the Library a copy of the 2009 study on its publication. [306915]

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Ian Lucas: A hard copy of the 2009 study: "The Effect of Foreign Mergers and Acquisitions on UK Productivity and Employment" will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

A report of the study is already in the public domain and can be accessed at the following URL:

Departmental Reviews

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills when he expects the review of his Department's agencies to be published. [305345]

Mr. McFadden: BIS will review its partner organisations as part of the Government wide review of arm's length bodies announced by the Prime Minister in "Putting the Front Line First: smarter government". The result of the review will be published by Budget 2010.

EU Globalisation Fund

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications the UK has made to the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund; how many (a) have been approved, (b) have been declined and (c) are outstanding; and what assessment he has made of the net cost or benefit to the UK of the Fund. [302844]

Angela Eagle: I will answer this question as responsibility for the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) falls to my Department.

On the first part of the question, the UK has not made any applications to the EGF. All current member state applications and their status can be viewed on the European Commission's EGF website at

As part of the Government's response to the economic downturn, we have used the European Social Fund to the same effect as the EGF, investing in a combination of services that have proved to be effective in helping workers and areas affected by restructuring. The EGF cannot duplicate use of other European funding.

On the second part, approved applications to the Fund have to date been financed from in-year transfers from areas of expected low implementation within the EU Budget, at no immediate impact to member states contributions. Unspent funds in one year, however, are used to finance the following year, thus reducing the amount of funding required from member states in that year. The UK's share of financing applications approved so far in 2009 is abateable, and the net cost to the UK over the 2009 and 2010 period of these applications would be around £2.05 million.

As to the benefits, the Government will look positively at a specific case where it can be shown that the EGF would add value to national, regional or local measures and initiatives. In particular, it is important to marshal all resources available to help those struggling to find work so that they can move into jobs in growth sectors and be a part of the economic recovery.

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Learning and Skills Council for England: Public Relations

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what payments the Learning and Skills Council has made to (a) Fishburn Hedges and (b) Weber Shandwick Public Affairs in each of the last three years; for what purposes; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made. [302299]

Kevin Brennan: The Department does not hold this level of information. The Learning and Skills Council makes decisions about any work it contracts for specific projects based upon its own business needs. Geoff Russell, the Council's Acting Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member with further information.

Letter from Geoff Russell, dated 8 December 2009:

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