Office Space (Newtown)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire 12:00 am, 18th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will take steps to encourage Government Departments and public authorities to move to Newtown, Montgomeryshire, to occupy the new offices now being built by the Mid-Wales Development Corporation.

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

I am fully aware of the importance to Newtown of securing tenants for the new offices and I have this very much in mind whenever Government Departments and public authorities require new accommodation.

Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire

Does that reply mean that the hon. Gentleman's Department will encourage Government Departments to move there, because it is important that a development such as Newtown should have a wide range of job opportunities? Is it not a desirable policy that wherever possible there should be centralisation of Government Departments?

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

If the hon. and learned Gentleman is asking me to give priority to Newtown I am afraid that would not be possible. Other towns have strong claims. I am sure he will share my pleasure that the tenders for the office block have recently been accepted and that work is expected to start early next year, for completion by the end of 1974.