LEP Funding Bid To Include Money For Islands’ Sewers

hugh town from BuzzaProblems with Hugh Town’s fragile ‘Mermaid Run’ sewer system could be a thing of the past if a bid for cash from the government’s new £2 billion Local Growth Fund is successful.

The waste system in town often blocks because it is narrow and old. That means planning applications can be rejected because large developments could overload the sewer.

But a £15m project to upgrade the ageing water infrastructure on St Mary’s is part of the package put together by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.

This also includes plans to improve public transport and road networks in Cornwall.

LEP Chief Executive Sandra Rothwell says the money has come from a number of government departments and all 39 LEPs across the country have submitted bids.

There’s no guarantee they’ll get the cash, but she feels they’ve put in a very strong case.

The government announced recently that Scilly would be brought under stricter UK drinking water and sewerage regulations. We had been excluded from these for many years.

It means significant investment needs to be made in our infrastructure, to make it legal.

Sandra says the government wanted to see bids for projects that would make a significant impact on the local economy or housing. She says the LEP are aware that there are other significant issues affecting the economy in Scilly, such as the transport links, and those are being addressed through programmes such as the next round of European funding.

The LEP has already given money towards the airport upgrade works at St Mary’s and Land’s End.

The future of the Local Action Group, which has funded a number of business and community initiatives in Scilly, is also up for discussion.

A new LAG will need approval from London and Brussels first.

That probably won’t happen until the summer, but she says that shouldn’t stop community groups from coming up with ideas, ready for when the scheme goes live early next year.

It’s also likely to be autumn before we hear whether the sewerage upgrades have been funded.

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