Cornwall Council has written to the Government to ask it to reconsider plans to rank the Duchy as a ‘Tier Two’ area for the new Levelling Up Fund which means that Cornwall’s residents and businesses could miss out on vital funding.
Announced at the recent Spending Review, the £4.8billion fund will invest in infrastructure across the UK, in particular town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects and culture and heritage.
However, Cornwall has been marked as a ‘Tier Two’ priority, rather than the top category, ‘Tier One’.
Now, the Council has written to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, to make the case for Cornwall’s ranking to be reconsidered.
Tim Dwelly, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Economy and Planning, said there has been “concern and surprise” that Cornwall has not been placed among those in the top priority group.
He said: “Cornwall has previously been seen by the Government as a particularly disadvantaged area, eligible for special intervention through structural funds, due to our productivity and earnings being below the UK average.
“Before the last General Election, the Prime Minister pledged that Cornwall would be no worse off after we left the EU.”
The letter to Mr Jenrick asks the Government to explain the criteria upon which the tiers were decided and for reassurance that Cornwall will be no worse off from the funding programme.
Further, it asks that the Government looks again at whether Cornwall can be reconsidered for ‘Tier One’ status.
Councillor Dwelly added: “This would be a very welcome move, with Cornwall set to host the G7 summit in the summer.
“We as a Council would appreciate this, as would our residents and businesses.”