Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 12:19 pm on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Minister of State (Science and Innovation), Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills 12:19 pm, 1st April 2008

I am coming on directly to the point made by my hon. Friend. It is clearly Government policy to develop Daresbury and Harwell as science and innovation campuses. I would not have recommended approving a delivery plan for the Science and Technology Facilities Council if that plan did not include proposals to develop Daresbury as a science and innovation campus.

We do not have a regional policy, as such. As I have explained to my hon. Friend, research council decisions are made on the basis of a peer review of science. However, individual delivery plans must be in accordance with the strategic priorities of the Government, which includes a clear regional element, because we want to see Daresbury developed as a world-class centre for science and innovation. As part of that aim, I say to hon. Members that we accept the argument that there needs to be a critical mass of world-class scientists undertaking research at Daresbury. Over the coming months, I hope that hon. Members will be able to see clear demonstrations of the Government's commitment to retaining that critical of scientists.