New Frontiers

An inclusive approach to an economy, environment and society that works for everyone in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board has created the New Frontiers plan. This will support a local economy that works for everyone. It will help build global industries, grow skills and wages and protect our heritage and environment.

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New Frontiers is a series of requests of Government that have been developed in a highly collaborative way, drawing in ideas and input from partners including:

  • Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly
  • health partners
  • the police and
  • local business and academic partners

It was fully endorsed by all partners on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board.

Devolution is the transfer of certain powers and responsibilities from national government to a particular geographical region.   Putting power into the hands of local decision-makers means they can better meet the needs of the people who live and work in their region.

In July 2015, a historic agreement was signed with the government. This gave Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly greater freedom and power to decide how £189 million of EU and public money should be spent and how to create economic growth in the region. Cornwall was given more control over public transport and energy systems. These are services that are integral to day-to-day life. With this Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly became the first non-metropolitan region in England to benefit from devolution.

There’s also something called “double devolution” in Cornwall, one of the few areas in the country where this has been taking shape. This is where services run by the Council are devolved down to you, the local community. Local people now have more say on how money is spent in the area where they live.

The benefits of double devolution can be seen all over the region, with 300 new schemes keeping communities clean, libraries open and swimming pools in full use.

This makes Cornwall’s story, as one of the leading areas in the UK for devolution, even more compelling.

Find out more about our current devolution deal.

Now we need a new plan to deal with the forthcoming and very specific challenges and opportunities that Brexit brings. With the rest of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Leadership Board we have developed a new, more ambitious proposal for the region. New Frontiers is currently being reviewed by government to help accelerate our regional development economically, environmentally and socially.

The New Frontiers plan will also significantly increase the region’s fiscal contribution into the national economy. It will also deliver tens of thousands of new jobs for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by 2030.

A top priority is to create a financially balanced and financially sustainable economy. This is alongside social and environmental resilience in the region after Britain leaves the European Union.

For example, Cornwall is one of Northern Europe’s poorest areas. People who live in parts of Cornwall find it more difficult to access public transport. This is because of the physical geography of the peninsula. This is unfair and needs to change.

We know that those from the more deprived parts of Cornish society suffer more illnesses. This is because of, amongst other things poorly insulated housing. This also has to change. Cornwall’s devolution programme sets out to improve services and performance now as well as in the longer term.

Our ambitious New Frontiers plan will establish a new relationship between communites, the public and private sectors. This is to bring a change in approach to the economy and people’s wellbeing, both at home and at work.

New Frontiers is structured around three sections:

  • Post-Brexit frameworks for:
    • regional economic development funding
    • workforce migration
    • regulations
    • employment and skills
    • and agriculture and fisheries

These will be designed to support all sectors of our economy, our environment and our society, and enable us to flourish beyond Brexit.

  • Developing our distinctive strengths as a rural Industrial Strategy pilot in:
    • clean growth and environmental management
    • space and satellites
    • creative and digital technologies and 

as a wave two Local Industrial Strategy pilot capable of trailblazing the vision set out in the Government's 25 year Environment Plan.

  • Devolved powers and funding that enable us to:
    • improve health outcomes for the most rapidly aging society in the UK
    • provide more affordable homes for local people
    • ensure a fully integrated public transport system
    • strengthen our environment and distinctive culture and heritage
    • secure fiscal freedoms and fair funding to support essential local services
    • enhance collaboration between our emergency services.

Each section contains a series of propositions which articulate a strong local ‘offer’. This is alongside our ‘ask’ of national government, to unlock clearly defined ‘benefits. 

We will now be opening a formal dialogue with Government to discuss these proposals. This is also to discuss the potential for a further deal structured around the propositions within New Frontiers.

Read New Frontiers - our proposition to Government for developing an economy that works for everyone in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.