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Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP awarded £4.3 million to boost economic growth

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership is to receive almost £4.3 million from the Government’s Growing Places Fund to invest in crucial infrastructure projects to help boost economic growth.

The Government announced last year that it would be allocating £500 million to Local Enterprise Partnerships to help take forward a range of key infrastructure projects to enable the creation of new homes and jobs and get stalled projects moving again.

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The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP was provisionally allocated £4.2 million from the Fund in November subject to submitting a proposal setting out how it would use the funding to deliver its priorities. Members of the LEP then worked closely with representatives of businesses and both Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly councils to draw up a formal proposal which was submitted to the Government in December.

The announcement by Housing Minister Grant Shapps that the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP is to receive £4,293,329 has been welcomed by Chairman Chris Pomfret who said “We are delighted to have been allocated this money which will generate economic activity in Cornwall by helping to promote the delivery of jobs and housing.

“We will now be issuing a competitive call for proposals from the public and private sector for ‘investment ready’ schemes associated with transport, utilities and flood defences or other constraints which are prohibiting development’.

The Growing Places Fund is a “revolving fund” which uses money from the Local Enterprise Partnership to provide initial financial support for private sector led projects. This money is then recovered from partners and used to support future developments.

Chris Ridgers, the Council’s portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, said "Continuing to support private-led economic growth leading to jobs and a strong economy in Cornwall is a priority for Cornwall Council. We are also very supportive of alternative ways of financial support to the private sector.

“A fund such as this that effectively "revolves" the funding in this way so that we can ensure long term use of the funds is real opportunity, and could pave the way for new ways of supporting the private sector through public funds. We are excited to be working with the Local Enterprise Partnership on these innovative schemes”.

The announcement of the Growing Places Fund is another demonstration of the success of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.  Over the past six months the LEP has secured an Enterprise Zone at Newquay Cornwall Airport and £13 million through the regional growth fund. It has lent its support to a number of key projects, including Goonhilly, and Geo-thermal energy and challenged the Government to intervene and remove the blockages to the development of Falmouth as a key strategic port.

Story posted 1 February 2012

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