Select Committee on Science and Technology Third Special Report


Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from Corus plc

Thank you for your letter of 3rd April 2001 to Sir Brian Moffat in connection with the recent report from your committee on Corus R&D, which I am replying to on his behalf:

Since publication of your report, the committee will be aware of the situation facing Corus in the UK, its restructuring announcement made on 1st February 2001 and its financial results presented on 15th March 2001. I am enclosing a copy of those announcements and results together with a copy of our Annual Report and Accounts*. The committee will further be aware of the evidence given to Commons committees on Trade and Industry and Welsh Affairs as well as to the Economic Development Committee of the National Assembly for Wales.

Despite continuing difficulties, we have maintained our original intentions outlined to the committee as regards the restructuring of R&D, which will make an important contribution to the future development of the company.

We have carefully considered the points raised in the committee's report and welcome the support given for the creation of the UK Technology Centre. Through this, the company will be able to focus its R&D efforts and create an important platform for the future.

The company is currently discussing the creation of this new centre, which it is hoped will be located in South Yorkshire. These discussions will be completed in the next few weeks.

Whilst the loss of jobs from the various existing R&D centres is regrettable, the company is encouraging key staff to consider relocation to either South Yorkshire or IJmuiden in the Netherlands (depending on which will be the lead centre for a particular activity). It should, however, be appreciated that, by reducing the number of R&D centres from four to two, we will be able to eliminate duplication and administration, which should enable us to redirect R&D resources more efficiently.

During the Select Committee hearing we raised many issues (for example, tax treatment of R&D, the problem of low numbers of technical graduates and the poor state of physical sciences teaching in secondary schools) that affect the attractiveness of UK as a country in which to do R&D. We welcome the fact that the report draws these issues to the Government's attention. We also welcome the Government's consultation on extending the scope of R&D tax credits to larger companies, to which we will be responding.

David Jackson

Corporate Relations Director

27 April 2001

* Not printed

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 9 May 2001