LEP Outlines European Money Spending Plans

economic development eco dev signThe Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership has outlined its spending priorities for the next round of European funding.

€592 million of European cash will be on offer for the two areas from 2014 to 2020.

A large proportion of the cash will be earmarked for non-grant business loans that would be repayable.

They hope this will create a self-sustaining business investment fund and is seen as a key move away from the grant culture that predominates in the region.

Of particular interest to Scilly is a commitment to funding offshore renewables and sustainable power generation. The waters around our islands are regarded as some of the best sites in Europe for wave power generation.

£25 million has also been set aside for community-led projects across Scilly and Cornwall.

That means there’ll be a LAG replacement and it’s likely that cash will be ring-fenced for Scilly.

There will also be more emphasis on skills development and Lifelong Learning-type projects.

Chairman of the LEP, Chris Pomfret, says his message to ministers is that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have, “an excellent track record when it comes to investing public money wisely.”

Council Vice Chair Dudley Mumford represented our authority at the mainland meeting yesterday.

He’ll discuss the plans with the Council next week and members’ feedback, together with that from Cornwall, will be shared with the LEP.

They’ll need to finalise their spending plans with the Government by January.