Convergence ‘delay, not cancellation’

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The Leader of Cornwall Council has called for calm and insisted that the Convergence Programme in Cornwall is not about to be axed.

While confusion still reigns as to the exact future of Convergence, Alec Robertson said today: “It’s important not to over-react in this situation despite unhelpful remarks from some commentators.

“At worst, this is a postponement of decisions on funding, not a cancellation of projects in Cornwall. This action, which mirrors the previous announcement on funding for major transport projects, is a sensible measure to be taken ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review in the autumn.

“The fact that our match funding draws in a great deal of European money will be one of the key criteria considered by the Government when allocating funds.

“We will continue to work with our MPs to lobby strongly for funding and we have every confidence that we will be successful.”

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It remains unclear as to the length of the embargo, but the Convergence partnership led by Cornwall Council and the South West RDA said it will be seeking urgent clarification from Government.

In the meantime, the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly stressed that delivery continues with existing investments across both the ERDF and ESF Convergence programmes and the partnership will continue to develop further investments for approval once the embargo is lifted.