Business Forum Presses LEP For Details Of Funding Bid

hugh town from garrisonThe Cornwall Business Forum says they’ll write to the government to oppose a major cash bid for Scilly and Cornwall, if they don’t get their questions answered.

The forum, which claims 437 members in Scilly, say there’s not enough detail about how the Local Enterprise Partnership will spend £1 billion if their funding plans are approved.

Forum Chairman Kevin Oliver met with the LEP on May 28th. But Kevin alleges that the LEP controlled the meeting and few of the forum’s questions were answered.

Road, transport and infrastructure projects dominate the LEP’s development plans for the region, published earlier this year.

In Scilly, money is ring-fenced for renewing St Mary’s sewerage system. And there could be a £4.5 million project to design a traffic news and what’s on mobile phone app.

That could be useful for visitors, but Kevin says the 97-page bid document only uses the word tourism three times and his members want it to feature more prominently.

Kevin says he was assured in the meeting that the bid would offer funding for all sectors of business, which he says is positive.

But he feels the document sent to government lacks detail and he’s asked whether he can have a more in-depth business plan.

The forum will attend another LEP meeting on Thursday and that session will determine what they’ll do next. Kevin says if the forum’s questions aren’t answered, his organisation will write to the government to say “this isn’t working.”

The LEP spokesman declined our request for a comment, saying that key personnel were unavailable on this occasion.