asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the total cost of the business links programme established in the wake of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, indicating separately the cost of aid given directly to rural business and the overall cost of the administering the scheme.
The regional development agencies used Business Links to appraise, approve applications and pay out grants under the Business Recovery Funds. Business Links also gave out advice to businesses affected by the foot-and-mouth outbreak. The level of involvement of the Business Links varied from region to region.
Of the £39 million allocated for the Business Recovery Fund, approximately £1.44 million—just under 4 per cent—was passed to Business Links to meet its adminstration costs.