Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:15 am on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of John Pugh John Pugh Liberal Democrat, Southport 11:15 am, 1st April 2008

It would be amazing if it turned out as we hoped; and it would be a major plus for the north-west. However, it is apparent to me that things will not turn out as expected.

The NAO praised the project and used positive terms, which the hon. Gentleman will welcome, and said that the project provides a

"Level and form of engagement with industry".

That is crucial for the north-west because we need industry and jobs. It is ironic, in retrospect, that the NAO said that the project has

"Flexibility and adaptability to cost pressures".

Because of that, one felt that the project would go ahead no matter what the economic climate. The Northwest Regional Development Agency, to its credit, has persistently emphasised that the key need in the north-west is high-quality jobs—a better quality of job than is widely available in many parts of the north-west—and not simply jobs. Key science fixtures obviously help in that regard. It now seems that there is a doubt about the consolation prize.