Welsh Development Agency

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1985.

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Photo of Mr Stefan Terlezki Mr Stefan Terlezki , Cardiff West 12:00 am, 17th June 1985

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how much capital was made available by the Welsh Development Agency to industries between 1978 to 1980 and 1981 to 1984, respectively; and what information he has as to the number of new firms established as a result in Wales between the same dates.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Edwards Mr Nicholas Edwards , Pembroke

In the financial years 1978–79 to 1980–81 the Welsh Development Agency undertook investments of £10 million. In the years 1981–82 to 1984–85 the figure was £24 million. These investments were made in 300 companies, but a breakdown into new and existing firms is not immediately available.

Photo of Mr Stefan Terlezki Mr Stefan Terlezki , Cardiff West

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for such an encouraging reply. Is it not a fact that the WDA has not only done excellent work since it began but is expanding? While we must not be complacent about the expansion and about the 300 companies that have received grant to the tune of £24 million, does my right hon. Friend agree that, had it been left in the hands of the Socialists, that would never have been achieved?

Photo of Mr Nicholas Edwards Mr Nicholas Edwards , Pembroke

I should emphasise in respect of the figures that I have given, that increasingly the WDA in its investment function is acting as a lead to the syndication of funds by venture capitalists and the financial institutions generally and, therefore, the total scale of the investment led by the WDA is much higher than the figures to which I have referred.