Isles of Scilly Still Amongst Poorest EU Regions

Scilly and Cornwall will continue to receive the highest level of EU ‘Convergence’ money.

This comes after new figures on the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly show they’re still below the 75% average income level for the EU as a whole.

The latest information on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) released by the European Commission shows that, despite a significant growth in the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly over the past few years, the second highest in the UK after the City of London between 1999 and 2008, the impact of the global economic recession means that they did not pass the 75% mark required to be designated as a ‘transition region’ for the next round of European funding.

Diana Mompoloki, the Council’s Strategic Investment Manager, says it’s disappointing that we’re still classified as a less developed region within the EU.

She added that they were taken by surprise with the figures. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had been growing at an average of 9.1% annually and they had expected to get across the 75% threshold.

But due to a recalculation of the statistics across the whole EU, the final number was revised down to 73.2%.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have received the highest level of European funding support since 2000, with a £400m Objective One programme in place between 2000-2006 and a £500m Convergence programme from 2007-2013.

Diana says the failure to reach ‘transition’ status means the region could be in line for a further £300 to £500m for development projects between 2014 and 2020, although the final sums will be down to negotiation between the British Government and the Commission.

She said the number one priority for Scilly had to be improving transport links to the Islands.