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£200m Boost For Cornish Jobs, Homes and Transport

nick clegg

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:03am 7th July 2014. (Updated at 5:48pm 7th July 2014)

Cornwall will get a £200m war chest to kickstart 4,000 jobs and 6,000 new homes.

A big chunk of the money will come from the government and has been announced by Deputy PM, Nick Clegg on a visit to the Duchy.

The cash is on top of the European funding we already get and will be spent on a string of projects until 2020.

Ministers are approving almost £50m of funding, £11m of which will come in the first year, which will be bolstered by additional investment in the Duchy.

Among the investment:

  • Improvements to the Night Riviera Sleeper rail service including increased capacity, upgraded sleeper berths and lounge area and space for bicycles and surf boards.
  • Improvements to Carkeel Junction on the A38 that will speed up new employment and housing development in Saltash.
  • A review of the existing bus network to identify and progress improvements to the Cornish bus network through the introduction of a 'Bus and Integrated Transport Strategy' in 2016. A bus and rail interchange is planned for West Cornwall, including road improvements and a Parkway station at St Erth.
  • A total of £5.83 million will be spent on the 'Bodmin Cornwall's Cycling Town' project to improve the extensive walking and cycling networks in and around the town. Plans include creating a series of cycle routes through the town, linking the Camel Trail to the bike trails recently created at Cardinham Woods and at Lanhydrock.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Truro Western Corridor: Package of schemes to accelerate housing and jobs 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.
  • 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.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Growth Deals are a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain's future.

"For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth Deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great towns and cities, boosting local economies and driving growth across the country.

"This historic deal means real change for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with exciting plans including better transport links with improvements to rail, road and cycling network, easing commutes, and helping business to grow.

"By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs. And that means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hardworking people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg added: "The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Deal will create thousands of jobs, build thousands of new homes and improve transport links across the country for people and their families; building a stronger economy and a fairer society.

"We're placing the power and money in the hands of people in the region who know how to spend it best, making a real difference to local communities."

Chris Pomfret was part of the team that put the bid together. He 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."

Kim Conchie from Cornwall Chamber of Commerce said: "Wages are lower here which means people's expectations are lower here, I want to get away from that sort of economy and that sort of business model, to something where everybody has higher expectations that Cornwall leads the world in the new industries that we're developing and there is expertise here.

"If I speak to most businesses in Cornwall they will tell you that the poor transport infrastructure is the major reason that they're struggling, most business owners say they will happily get on and run their business if the government will provide their side of the bargain which is of course the infrastructure."

A letter signed by the leaders of all political groups on the Council was sent to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in June expressing concern over the creation of a middle-man between Cornwall and Europe and Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, met with Government Ministers and the Chairman of the Local Government Association.

Over the past few weeks a number of leading businesses have added their voices to the campaign, including St Austell Brewery, the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Cornwall Manufacturers Group, Cornwall Marine Network Limited and CoaST and today Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that the Government had agreed to give Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the LEP new powers to make spending decisions for the next EU funding programme locally. 

Welcoming the announcement Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, who has spearheaded the campaign, said: “This is great news for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and I would like to thank everyone who has supported our campaign.

“We are committed to designing and delivering the best possible EU programme to create jobs and improve the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The best way to do that is by empowering local businesses and communities to make investment decisions and shape their own future. This decision will deliver a more local approach which will lead to greater investment in the region and create more jobs. It’s a win-win for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly”.

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