asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to attract light engineering industry to the Poole-Bournemouth-Christ-church area; and whether he will grant an industrial development certificate to firms wishing to set up new factories there.
I am aware of the needs of this area and they are taken into account in deciding industrial development certificate applications. My first concern, however, must be for the areas of high and persistent unemployment.
Is my hon. Friend aware of the difficulties, particularly those experienced by engineering employees rendered redundant by the rundown and contraction of the aircraft industry? Can he, secondly, tell me how many I.D.C.s have been issued and how many applications have been rejected?
We are watching the position of the rundown of the aircraft industry. As to the number of I.D.C.s, six have been granted for extensions since July last year; two for one firm have been rejected, and they were rejected because the firm in question wished to transfer a factory from South Wales.