The second round of calls for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) went live earlier this week as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.
It is expected that the Growth Programme will build on the previous investments made during the Convergence Programme. Vital infrastructure such as Superfast Cornwall, the development of the Penryn Campus and the trio of Innovation Centres were complemented with a suite of skills and business support packages which helped develop local people and businesses.
It is hoped that the circa €600m Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have received from Europe will be match funded by both the public and private sector to make an approximate €1 billion investment package over the life of the Programme.
Through the European investment there is the ambition to accelerate the productivity of high growth and growth potential businesses, ensure there is an appropriately skilled workforce, look to the commercial opportunities of the future and support those most disadvantaged in the region to progress into work or education.
These new contracts will be announced through a series of ‘calls’, the second round of which were published between July 24th and 29th with more expected over the coming weeks.
The calls in the second round are for SME competitiveness, Information and Communication Technology, promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management and preserving and Protecting the Environment and Promoting Resource Efficiency.
Further calls to support skills and career progression are also expected over the next few weeks.
Julian German, member of the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) Board which is responsible for overseeing the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, said: “Achieving the launch of the new European Programmes has been a long and difficult process and it’s great that additional ERDF calls are now live. We will continue to work hard with partners and applicants to ensure this round of European Union funding achieves all that it can.”
Chris Pomfret, Chair of the LEP and the ITI Board, said: “This is a really exciting time for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We have made sure that these calls reflect the needs and aspirations of our businesses and communities, and we will continue to do so as the programme gathers pace. The need to invest in climate change adaptation and mitigation, improved resource efficiency and the preservation of our environment, all present significant challenges. But they are also huge opportunities for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to lead the way and at the same time generate jobs and growth for our economy. That is what these latest calls seek to achieve, and it is important that businesses look at how they can engage with this important agenda.”