Industrial Incentives

Prime Minister written question – answered on 26 October 1981.

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Mr. Ernie Ross asked the Prime Minister what is the percentage range of assistance for industrial incentives in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Great Britain, in the following aspects: (i) building grants, (ii) machinery and equipment grants and (iii) research and development grants.

The Prime Minister: This information is as follows:

Under the Industrial Investment (General Assistance) Acts 1966 to 1971 standard capital grants are available at the rate of 30 per cent. for buildings, plant, machinery and equipment in qualifying industrial activities.

Alternatively under the Industries Development (Northern Ireland) Acts 1966 to 1971 selective financial assistance, which includes capital grants, is available on the cost of new 235 machinery, plant and building works at the higher rate of 40 to 50 per cent., depending on location, providing the employment criteria are satisfied.

Research and development

Under the industries development legislation grants towards the cost of research and development projects aimed at developing new products and processes are available at the rate of 40 to 50 per cent., depending on location, up to a maximum of £250,000 per project.

(b) Great Britain

Regional development grants, under section 1 of the Industry Act 1972, are available at rates of 15 per cent. of the cost of assets provided on qualifying premises in development areas and 22 per cent. in special development areas. Buildings, machinery and equipment are all eligible.

Additionally, under both section 7 and section 8 of the Industry Act 1972, selective financial assistance is available for qualifying projects. The percentage of assistance is negotiated as the minimum necessary to secure the project; historically the average has been about 10 per cent. of project costs—including the cost of buildings, machinery and equipment.

Under various schemes assistance is available as a grant of up to 25 per cent. of the cost of applied industrial research projects and the development of new or significantly improved products or processes. In some cases the Government will contribute up to 50 per cent. of the cost in return for a levy on commercial sales. Under nearly all schemes the Department of Industry is prepared to purchase pre-production models for user trials with a view to selling these to the user afterwards.

Assistance under two special schemes is available in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Microelectronics Industry Support Programme provides for assistance of up to 25 per cent. of eligible project costs which may include research and development, buildings, and machinery and plant. The coal fired boiler scheme also provides grants at up to 25 per cent. of eligible project costs.