LEP wins £13 million of investment for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

An innovative bid submitted by the Local Enterprise Partnership to stimulate the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and create thousands of new jobs has been awarded £13 million of investment from the Government’s flagship Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Almost 500 bids for funding were submitted from across the UK, with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly proposal one of the 119 successful bids.

The £13m RGF investment will be used to attract additional funding to create a £43m programme, which will directly create or safeguard 3,200 jobs and indirectly create 2,100 jobs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Chris Pomfret, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, which applied for the funding, said, “This is great news for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Investment of this scale is hard to come by in the current economic climate and this reflects the quality of the bid, which has been designed to meet the short and long term needs of the private sector.”

The funding will be split into two separate strands.

The first strand will be to provide businesses and social enterprises with capital grants to grasp the opportunities of new Superfast Broadband. This will be particularly helpful to the large numbers of small and medium sized enterprises, which make up the majority of the local economy.

The second strand will fund infrastructure projects in the Marine, Mineral, Renewable Energy and Aerospace industries, which will unlock private sector investment.

Chris Ridgers, Economy Portfolio Holder at Cornwall Council and member of the LEP Board said “This announcement is further endorsement of the efforts we are making in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to rebalance our economy to provide a wide range of employment opportunities. This funding will help create jobs and growth but the investment isn’t just about the here and now, it will also help us to close the productivity gap with other parts of the UK and Europe.

Philip Hygate, Chief Executive of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, has also welcomed the announcement.  “One of the biggest challenges we face on the islands is peripherality and this investment will help us in two ways.

Firstly, extra investment in superfast broadband will equip our businesses with the skills to make maximum use of the digital revolution. Secondly, we hope to invest in infrastructure at St Mary’s airport which will not only boost tourism but connectivity more widely.”