Finistere Delegation

The latest stage of the successful ongoing protocol of co-operation between Finistère and Cornwall Councils saw a group of senior politicians and technical experts from Finistère travel to Cornwall to develop further joint working in agriculture and the marine sector.

The group, who spent two days in Cornwall, also discussed ways of building on previous successes and emerging opportunities to bid for transnational European funding in both regions.

The first day saw delegates visiting Mylor Harbour to discuss their plans for the future and explore potential links with the Falmouth Marine School on marine training. They also met with representatives of A&P and the Offshore Renewables Delivery Programme in Falmouth and took in an overview of Cornwall’s future in Offshore Renewables. Members of the group were also guests of the Environmental and Sustainability Institute, the Organic Study Centre of Duchy College, Riviera Produce and the Green Waste Company.

Future joint working in this area will focus on improving quality, productivity and wealth in agriculture in areas such as vegetable production systems, the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and ecosystem services mapping.

The second day involved visits to Lynher Dairies and Trewithen Dairy to enable the group to compare and enhance dairy production methods. Plans are currently being developed to enable Cornish dairy producers to visit Finistère to discuss collaboration in the dairy sector and get an insight into the cooperative model. The two regions also share the same interest for attracting more people into agri-food careers and partners are currently looking at ways of proposing joint solutions to skills development.

The visit ended with a presentation of the benefits of the protocol of cooperation with Finistère at a reception hosted by Cornwall Council which was sponsored by ACT Cornwall and Groupe Ouest.

Since its signature in 2008, the protocol has seen 18 EU cross-border cooperation projects undertaken with partner organisations in Finistère drawing down €25.2 million of funding by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

These investments have involved many sectors and guests at the reception heard from a range of representatives from the maritime, youth, cultural and economic sectors of the benefits experienced in their areas. These included ACT Cornwall and Groupe Ouest for the Any Resemblance Project; Cornwall Marine Network for Channel Marine Academy; Point Europa and Devon & Cornwall Housing for Do It Yourself.

Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said “The cooperation between Cornwall and Finistère is a fantastic example of transnational working; these European projects make a great contribution to the competitiveness, performance and sustainability of both our economies”.

“Businesses, research centres, public sector partners and youth, cultural and social organisations from the two regions have shown a great ability to work together for mutual benefit. I look forward to our continued cooperation and providing even greater outcomes for our residents.”

Story posted 19 September 2014