Cornwall is to have a voice at the heart of Europe, after Cornwall Enterprise managing director John Berry was appointed to the executive board of an influential Brussels group.
John, who has led Cornwall Enterprise since 1999, was elected last month by colleagues at the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA), an influential organisation which represents 150 regional development agencies across the EU. Other members of the Executive include leaders of development agencies in Milan, Lyon, Brussels and Andalucia.
Berry’s appointment follows a previous term, also through EURADA, as the President of the European Business Angels Network.
Under his stewardship, Cornwall Enterprise, the County Council’s Economic Development service, has played a key role in marketing the County to visitors and businesses, in developing its information technology and business development infrastructures and in partnerships and projects worth an estimated £500M in investment and funding.
Increasingly, such initiatives to improve Cornish prosperity through wise use of Objective One Funding have earned the county a reputation as a top player among its European counterparts.
EURADA takes a leading role in influencing Europe-wide policies for regional development, entrepreneurship, state aid and small businesses, and John’s appointment is seen as both evidence, and a further boost, for Cornwall’s ability to punch above its weight.
Hearing of his new board role, Berry said: “This honour is not so much about me, as it is a reflection of the high regard for Cornwall among our European counterparts. It’s good news for the county, because EURADA gives us a further avenue to participate directly in the policy making and lobbying which help shape our economic futures.
“I hope this appointment will give me a chance to ensure Cornwall’s voice continues to be heard loud and clear in Brussels; particularly in these difficult times, as we meet the challenge of creating a more prosperous future.”