The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly have secured a £198m Growth Deal from Government that aims to create 4,000 jobs and 6,000 new homes.
The deal, which follows months of negotiations, will see the Government invest £49m, mostly in the next two years, unlocking a further £149m from the public and private sector. Crucially, the LEP and local authorities have also secured new powers to make sure all spending decisions for the next EU funding programme are made locally.
And in what is being seen as a breakthrough for devolved government from Whitehall, the LEP will also have more control over a range of other Government spending streams.
The Growth Deal is the first major tranche of funding needed to deliver the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Strategic Economic Plan that was launched earlier this year.
It will see investment in a raft of projects ranging from road improvements to unlock development sites and ease congestion, to cycling and bus routes, and improvements in skills and learning. It also recognises the crucial need to invest in sewage and water facilities on the Isles of Scilly to remove a critical barrier to growth, with a pledge from Government to work together on funding options.
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP Chairman Chris Pomfret said: “This is a great deal for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Not only have we secured new money to help us remove blockages to growth, but we have negotiated the freedom to make our own decisions. In effect we will have a single investment programme that bundles together EU and national funding from different sources, all channelled through the LEP to deliver jobs and growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. That’s a real breakthrough.”
John Pollard, Leader of Cornwall Council, said: “Securing this deal has been a tremendous team effort between the LEP, local authorities, our MPs and the business community who have worked together to make our voices heard. This deal gives us the control we sought and means we can set our own priorities. It’s great news for Cornwall and positions us well for future Growth Deals.”
Amanda Martin, Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: “This is welcome news for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP and provides more freedom to invest in the islands, for example, through smart grid investment, skills development and renewable energy. Improvements to mainland transport infrastructure, including roads and rail, will make it easier for people to reach us and will boost the visitor economy. Importantly, both Government and the LEP recognise that significant investment into water and sewerage infrastructure is vital to remove a critical barrier to future economic growth on the islands, and we welcome their commitment to work with us on options for this investment.”
Toby Parkins, President of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and a leading light in the campaign for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to retain control of its EU funding programme, said: “Business will welcome this deal because it will remove barriers to growth and give them confidence to invest. Having local control of EU and national funding streams will reduce bureaucracy and target investment where it’s really needed.”
The Growth Deal for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly was formally announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today (Monday 7th July) during a visit to Cornwall and is part of a national announcement of similar deals across England, each one tailored to different areas.
Further Growth Deals will follow and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP will shortly start discussions about its priorities for the next round of Growth Deals.
The deal announced today is in addition to the £520 million of EU funding that has been ring-fenced for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Between now and 2020 the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP will oversee an estimated £1 billion investment in the local economy.
Growth Deal – summary of key projects
- A38 Cornwall Gateway: Improvements to Carkeel Junction that will deliver benefits to Cornwall’s connectivity with the UK and accelerate new employment and housing development in Saltash. Growth Deal contribution: £3.5m
- Newquay Growth Area: Supporting access to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s Enterprise Zone at Aerohub at Newquay Cornwall Airport, and housing and employment in the Newquay Growth Area through delivery of transport improvements along the Newquay Strategic Route. Growth Deal contribution: £2m.
- Falmouth Gateway: Improvements include a new roundabout junction to unblock a key pinch point on the highway network that will accelerate housing and employment growth in support of Cornwall’s strategic education and employment sites. Growth Deal contribution: £0.9m
- Bodmin Cornwall’s Cycling Town: Improvements to the extensive walking and cycling network in Bodmin to accelerate growth in the local economy and create a more sustainable travel pattern. Growth Deal contribution: £5.8m
- Truro Western Corridor: Package of schemes to accelerate housing a job growth along a key corridor into Truro, including capacity improvements at Threemilestone roundabout and the delivery of critical walking and cycle links along the Western Corridor. Growth Deal contribution: £8.2m
- Night Riviera Sleeper Service: Improvements to the Night Riviera Sleeper Service including increased capacity, upgraded sleeper berths and lounge area and space for bicycles and surf boards. This is part of a package of projects supported by Government that will see the Traincare Centre for maintenance of the Sleeper Service relocated to Penzance. Growth Deal contribution: £7m
- Increasing business engagement with schools: Government will work with the LEP to explore the feasibility of implementing a programme of Enterprise Advisers in line with Lord Young’s recommendation in his review ‘Enterprise for All’, in addition to wider activities to link local businesses with schools. Growth Deal contribution: n/a
Central Government has agreed provisional allocations to the following projects starting in 16/17 and beyond:
- Bus Network Improvements: Package of improvements to the bus network to facilitate the access to employment, skills and services required by a growing economy. Growth Deal contribution: £8m
- West Cornwall Transport Interchange Creation of a new bus rail interchange including improvements to the A30 junction, Parkway Station and refurbished and improved passenger facilities. Growth Deal contribution: £4.5m
The Growth Deal includes a further £8.9 million of funding which the Government has previously committed to large scale transport schemes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
- Total Growth Deal funding: £49m
- Additional investment from local partners: £38.4m
- Additional investment from private sector: £110.6m
- Total value of Growth Deal investment: £198m
Story posted 07 July 2014