£500m funds to develop base of high-growth businesses
The next £500 million round of European funding in Cornwall will focus on making a smaller number of large investments, with access to funds made easier for businesses.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership has now outlined its spending priorities for the next round of European funding, which runs from 2014 until 2020.
The Duchy will receive a total of 592.9 million euros of investment from the Euro-pean Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund, which will take over from the present round of Convergence funding.
The next round will see the LEP take the lead on how the money is spent, with the Government asking for an investment strategy by early October, with a final strategy submitted in January 2014. Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly are being invited by the LEP to endorse the plans, with both councils meeting to consider outline proposals next week.
Sign up NOW for a 6 week training program starting in January 2014 and get a 30% discount!
Start a fresh in 2014 with a Personal Trainer! I come to you and design a program to achieve your goals!!
Terms: Within the Mid-North Devon Region. One Voucher per person.
Contact: 07855 055 682
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
The strategy covers 14 investment areas and has an emphasis on growing businesses through intensive business support, investment in growth markets like marine renewable energy and the digital economy, investment in research and innovation, skills development, energy efficiency and in infrastructure to remove barriers to growth.
The document says there will be a focus on making a smaller number of larger investments to maximise the benefits of the programme.
The strategy envisages spending £50-£60 million on business support, £40-£70 million on innovation and £60-£70 million on developing the Duchy's low-carbon economy. One of its key aims is to simplify the process that businesses and other organisations go through to access funding after research found that some firms had found the form-filling involved in the current scheme a deterrent.
The aim of the European funding is to raise the Duchy's gross value added – currently £13,848 per head, compared to a UK average of £20,873 – by developing a base of high-growth businesses.
LEP chairman Chris Pomfret said: "We have consulted widely in arriving at these headline investment plans and this is the latest step in agreeing with Government where we believe our allocation of European funding can have the maximum long-term impact on the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
"Our message to ministers is that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have an excellent track record when it comes to investing public money wisely, but we would like the flexibility to make sure we can get the job done.
"We're at the roadmap stage right now."
The LEP has also earmarked a minimum of £25 million for community-led projects. To see the investment strategy, visit cornwall andislesofscillylep.com