The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has won a grant worth £13 million from the second round of the Regional Growth Fund.
The LEP says the investment will be used to attract additional funding to create a £43 million programme which will directly create or safeguard 3,200 jobs and indirectly create 2,100 jobs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
LEP chairman Chris Pomfret said “This is great news for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Investment of this scale is hard to come by in the current economic climate and this reflects the quality of the bid which has been designed to meet the short and long term needs of the private sector.
“This funding is projected to attract further investments of £30 million and will create over 4,000 jobs at a time when it is desperately needed.”
The funding will be split into two separate strands. The first strand will be competitive and will provide businesses and social enterprises with capital grants and investments to grasp the opportunities presented by superfast broadband.
The second strand will fund infrastructure projects in the marine, mineral, renewable energy and aerospace industries which will unlock private sector investment.
Chris Ridgers, economy portfolio holder at Cornwall Council and member of the LEP Board, said “This announcement is further endorsement of the efforts we are making in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to rebalance our economy to provide a wide range of employment opportunities.
“This funding will help create jobs and growth but the investment isn’t just about the here and now, it will also help us to close the productivity gap with other parts of the UK and Europe. We will ensure that RGF funding adds value to the Convergence Programme and supports the private sector in creating the jobs of the future.
Philip Hygate, chief executive of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, also welcomed the announcement. “One of the biggest challenges we face on the islands is peripherality and this investment will help us in two ways,” he remarked.
“Firstly, extra investment in superfast broadband will equip our businesses with the skills to make maximum use of the digital revolution. Secondly, we hope to invest in infrastructure at St Mary’s airport which will not only boost tourism but connectivity more widely.”