Devolution Deal delivering better services for Cornwall

Cornwall’s ground breaking devolution deal has resulted in better services for residents and more control over how money is spent.

Leaders from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and business representatives met last Friday to mark three years since the original deal and delivery of over 50%.

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They learnt how £568 million in funding was now under local control as a result of the deal which spans a wide range of projects, tackling fuel poverty, improving health and social care, transport, heritage and culture and flood resilience. In the last three years the deal has delivered:

  • increased bus and rail patronage by 1.4 million journeys
  • £17m private investment into the bus network in Cornwall, with 78 new buses and the ability to travel with the Cornish equivalent of London’s Oyster card;
  • £11.5m investment over three years into the Warm and Well programme, making the homes of over 1,000 vulnerable households in Cornwall cheaper to heat every year;
  • Cornwall investing in new energy technologies such as deep geothermal, potentially providing electricity for thousands of homes in the future;
  • land for 255 new homes in Cornwall;
  • support for 11,392 businesses and start-ups through the creation of the Growth Hub and Better Business for All Regulatory support service; and
  • support for over 5,000 new apprenticeship starts annually.

Cornwall Council made history by becoming the first rural authority to secure a Devolution Deal, giving it more power over funding to deliver services to local businesses and residents.

Adam Paynter, Leader of the Council, said: “The deal was ground-breaking, Cornwall was the first rural authority to achieve such a deal and to deliver over 50% on it just three years later is remarkable.

“Having greater control over how money is spent in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, means we are able to improve necessary services and tackle some of the bigger problems we know our residents are facing like fuel poverty.

“The deal hasn’t just allowed us to greater improve our transport network, it has also helped us build on some of our more innovative plans, like geothermal, which has given Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly a head start on using renewable energy.”

With uncertainty over Brexit, it is more important now than ever that Government devolves further power and funding to Cornwall so that it can flourish beyond Brexit. Cornwall was the first authority to launch a regional Brexit plan with New Frontiers.  New Frontiers sets out Cornwall’s asks of Government, to unlock a further £2 billion from Cornwall’s economy and support the delivery of at least 20,000 additional jobs by 2030.  This would be achieved through measures such as devolved funding for more affordable housing and the development of Spaceport Cornwall.

Cornwall Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio holder for resources, Julian German said:

“Cornwall’s deal clearly shows how bringing funding and decision-making closer to the community works.

“Through the deal we have implemented schemes to tackle fuel poverty, improve our public transport network, support innovative energy technologies and enable over 11,000 businesses to grow and prosper. This is having a real impact on the prosperity and quality of life of people across Cornwall.

“Given these significant benefits, we want to go further with the development of our next devolution proposition “New Frontiers” – a plan to show how a rural economy can contribute to the UKs future prosperity, help us prepare for Brexit, develop our distinctive economic strengths and build on the existing deal, whilst creating an environment and society that works for everyone in Cornwall.”

This information is now available in a full report available on Cornwall Council’s website –