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Millions More EU Aid for Cornwall

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8:00am 18th March 2012

Cornwall stands to receive hundreds of millions pounds more aid from Europe.

It is because our economy has not grown enough over the last five years. That means the Duchy can not move up to be a "transition region". Officials are blaming economic downturn.

In the past decade, cash has been used on projects like on superfast broadband, Newquay Cornwall airport and Hayle's Wave Hub.

Richard Glover, Chief Executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, is hoping the next round of cash will be targeted at small businesses, "If you want small businesses to grow, invest directly in them. Don't offer them a nice programme, don't offer them a Wave Hub that might deliver them business at some point in twenty-five years, but actually invest in their growth directly.

"We really ought to begin to look at some of the rail infrastructure. We need to do the big things, so that small businesses can then exploit the opportunity that comes, rather than fiddle around with more mentors and more advisors and that kind of stuff."

Chris Ridgers, the Council's portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, is not surprised by the latest figures, "Given the excellent investments we have made in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, we had hoped that our economy would have been resilient enough to take us above the 75% level, however the depths of the economic recession have had a significant impact.

"There is no easy fix for the economic challenges we now face but the investments we have made have laid the foundation for future growth.

"Despite this new data, analysis shows that the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is more resilient than that of other European regions and has performed better than other places over this time. Apart from inner London no other area in the UK saw an increase over this period."

8:00am 18th March 2012

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