An audience of Cornwall business leaders have been told that “now is Cornwall’s time to steal a march over other areas of the UK”.
Giving the keynote speech at Stephens Scown’s ‘Business Class’ briefing yesterday, Suzanne Bond, chief executive of the Cornwall Development Company (CDC), explained that Cornwall has a real opportunity to lead the way in developing new technologies and maximising the potential of its investments and innovations.
With the introduction of superfast broadband, she said the next five years would be an “exciting watershed period’ for Cornwall and the CDC would work hard to ‘drive forward’ and support creative industries, high-value jobs and high-growth businesses.
She said: “Cornwall’s economy is higher than the national average in terms of GDA and it’s the only part of the country that has an active economic growth strategy. There is every likelihood the county could be the pilot for future economic generation in the UK.
“Cornwall is truly on the map for new and emerging technologies, certainly in Europe and I think the county is on the world stage in many respects.”
Under the theme ‘What next for Cornwall?’, she identified tourism and creative industries, marine renewables and micro-generation as key sectors for growth and ones we should seek to nurture over the next 20 years.
Bond, an economist with more than 25 years’ experience, highlighted developments in Cornwall including the Environment and Sustainability Institute, Innovation Centres, St Austell and Clay Country’s eco-town development and Wave Hub. She talked about some of CDC’s delivery projects and gave an overview of global and local economic challenges for Cornwall.