LEP unveils strategic plan

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The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has published its Strategic Economic Plan which outlines how £1 billion could be invested in the local economy in the next seven years.

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It aims to boost the economy of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly by £338 million per year, invest in providing more than 18,000 jobs, support the delivery of almost 14,000 new homes, bring skills up to at least national averages and exceed national renewable energy targets by 2020.

The plan, drawn up at the request of Government following wide consultation with business leaders and other groups, makes the case for a single investment programme with more decision making locally that pulls together funding streams from across the public and private sector.

It includes the next European funding programme, worth some £520 million to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by 2020, and includes a £71 million bid over the next two years into the Government’s £2 billion Local Growth Fund. This aims to regenerate local economies and is a competitive process.

Other funding would come from existing national funds, local public funds and the private sector, adding up to at least £1 billion by 2020.

Chris Pomfret
Chris Pomfret

Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “This plan for a thriving and vibrant Cornwall and Isles of Scilly economy is both ambitious and achievable.

“It challenges the Government to share in our vision of the future and makes the case for greater local decision making through a single investment programme that covers all available funding sources.

“We have identified the opportunities and strengths that can help us create our future economy today. The next EU programme is a cornerstone of our plan and we have shown how we can make that money go even further with some targeted investment from complementary funding pots like the Local Growth Fund.”

The Strategic Economic Plan is based around three main strands of activity.

These are Future Economy – looking at building on strengths and unique characteristics to exploit new markets like marine energy; Growth for Business – aimed at raising productivity and employment as a whole; and Conditions for Growth – focused on removing barriers to growth.

The next EU programme is aimed mainly at the Future Economy and Growth for Business strands, while the LEP’s initial bid into the Government’s Local Growth Fund would focus on underlying Conditions for Growth, especially transport, skills and housing.

Commenting on the LEP’s submission, Minister for Cities, Greg Clark MP, said: “The Government welcomes the Strategic Economic Plan that Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP has published today and looks forward to continued engagement with local civic and business leaders over the next few months on the negotiation of their Growth Deal.”

To view the full plan, click here.