Penzance Harbour Project Could Miss Funding Deadline

Penzance Harbour

The future of the project to upgrade St Mary’s quay is in jeopardy after Penzance Town Council have admitted they may miss the deadline for completing their side of the project.

They’ve asked Government representatives who attended a meeting on Friday to look at the possibility of an extension.

The Department for Transport has made it clear that the St Mary’s quay upgrades cannot be funded without a viable plan in place for the Penzance side of the route and there is a strict time limit for the availability of European money.

A spokesperson for Penzance Town Council, which is currently leading their project, said: “The meeting reinforced our previous understanding that the timetable is very tight, although Government representatives agreed to examine whether it might be extended.”

Earlier this year, Cornwall Council, who own the harbour at Penzance, said they would not fund work to get the project to the final stages of approval. This was after that Authority poured around £6m into the failed Route Partnership scheme.

Radio Scilly understands that the progress meeting last Friday was attended by officers from both Cornwall Council and our own authority, as well as a representative from the DfT and the Steamship Company.

However, in a press statement issues by Penzance Town Council, there was no indication that Cornwall had decided to take on the project. Any delay at this point could spell disaster for the project, which is working to such tight deadlines.

Local MP, Andrew George, said he was encouraging all local partners to work with Cornwall Council for what he hopes will be a decision, which needs to be taken soon, to proceed with the Penzance Harbour Development.

He added: “I have confidence in the excellent team of professionals at Cornwall Council who are more than capable of delivering the scheme. All it requires now is for the crucial decision to bring all those elements together and to deliver it.”

Diana Mompoloki represented the Council of the Isles of Scilly at the meeting. She said there was a big risk that Penzance would not be able to meet the deadline for EU funding as all contracts would need to be signed by December 2013 with completion by April 2015.

And she said that timing is very tight for Penzance, particularly on a project of this scale, which could require businesses to be moved out of the harbour area or where planning consents may need to be put in place.

She added, “Any delay will kill the Penzance project.”

Diana said the St Mary’s side of the project is much further ahead and can be completed within the timescales laid down by the EU.