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DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES ON TRACK TO MEET ANNUAL TARGETS

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New figures published by the Department of Trade and Industry today reveal that the North West and South West Devel...
New figures published by the Department of Trade and Industry today reveal that the North West and South West Development Agencies are performing well.

The figures show that over the six months between April and September

2003, the North West Development Agency has:

* created or safeguarded 4,582 jobs

* created or attracted 163 businesses to the region

* reclaimed 127 hectares of brownfield land

* created 5,874 learning opportunities

* attracted£45m of private sector investment benefiting

deprived areas

Industry and regions minister Jacqui Smith said: 'The North West

Development Agency is making a real difference to economic

development in the region.

'I welcome the progress they are making with partners on a range of

projects.

'Highlights include the establishment of a£35m North West

Equity Fund, and the RisingStars Growth Fund, a£9.5m

investment vehicle helping early-stage technology companies.

'Other developments include the£23m Newlands scheme which

aims to rejuvenate 435 hectares of derelict land across the

Northwest.'

Bryan Gray, chairman of the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA),

said:

'I am pleased that once again we are delivering strong results but

the bare figures are only part of the story. People throughout the

Northwest are united by a determination to continue the

transformation of our economy and the renaissance of our communities,

both urban and rural.'

The figures show that over the six months between April and September

2003, the South West Development Agency has:

* created or safeguarded 2,265 jobs

* created or attracted 86 new businesses to the region

* reclaimed 74 hectares of brownfield land

* created 3,842 learning opportunities

* attracted£22m of private sector investment benefiting

deprived areas

Jacqui Smith said:

'The South West RDA is making a real difference to economic

development in the region.

'Projects include a£41mi investment from the Japanese

automotive company Takao Europe, creating 315 new jobs and

safeguarding 60 more, and in Torquay the 'Living Coasts' regeneration

project has brought in£2.5m of investment creating 34 new

jobs.'

Geoff Wilkinson, chief executive of the South West RDA, said:

'We have made good progress in many areas of our work, and the

figures show how we are concentrating our resources on activities

which will bring long-term economic benefit to the region.

'Our primary role is to act as a catalyst for the regional economy.

We are investing more resources in new activities which will support

business growth, skills and learning, innovation and boost the image

of the region.'

Notes

1. The targets were set by SWRDA and NWDA in conjunction with DTI. More

information can be found at www.dti.gov.uk/rda/info.

2. RDA performance figures for the financial year 2003/04 will be

published before the summer parliamentary recess.

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