Attendees Hear About Work Of Local Enterprise Partnership

Around a dozen islanders attended a roadshow at the Old Wesleyan Chapel yesterday to hear about the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, or LEP.

Chris Loughlin, the Chief Executive of South West Water, who sits on the LEP board gave the audience an introduction to the work of the agency, which was set up early in 2011 following the dismantling of the old Regional Development Agencies.

The meeting was chaired by Philip Hygate, Chief Executive of the Council, who also has a seat on the new group.

Chris described the more limited remit of the LEP, which is concentrating on support for business and enterprise and has a much-reduced budget compared to the old RDA.

He said the LEP was still in its infancy and developing it’s strategy for the region, including support for tourism, marine engineering and the creative industries, which are viewed as strengths in the region.

But he said the LEP had to deliver real benefits by the end of 2012.

Chris also wanted attendees’ views on what should be the key priorities for the LEP, particularly on the Isles of Scilly.

The issues around planning and low cost housing were high on people’s agenda, as well as problems with the transport and telecommunications infrastructure on the islands.

Chris said he was keen to hear from islanders who have a view on how to support development here – feedback should be sent to Julian Pearce at the Council’s Economic Development Office at Porthmellon.