Communities Minister Baroness Hanham visited Camborne, Truro, Redruth, Pool and Newquay (18 May 2011) to see how vital regeneration cash is boosting skills and helping small businesses to realise their full potential.
Supported by central and local government, the European Regional Development Funding has allocated over £400 million to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to support investment in activity that will help to transform the area’s economy by helping businesses to realise potential whether that be through skills development, provision of specialist premises, links to research or low carbon measures.
Amongst the innovative projects that Baroness Hanham visited were:
- The Elms, Redruth, a voluntary, community and social enterprise centre. Disadvantaged, young people and the community are supported and coached back into work, through learning skills for life, capacity building, and community learning, and outreach. The £1,027,000 funding will support smaller voluntary sector organisations including Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change, Redruth Community Radio and Cornwall Community Volunteer Services for the Visually Impaired.
- Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay, a pioneering social enterprise developed by Jamie Oliver to train young apprentices in restaurant skills, and which celebrated its fifth birthday, 18 May 2011. £565,000 funding has helped towards the build cost, with 60 people graduating from the programme to date.
Other ways in which the fund helps Cornwall and the Scilly Isles are:
- Broadband roll-out - providing super-fast connections to small and rural businesses so that they can help economic recovery. With the introduction of the superfast broadband, local businesses will have the opportunity to expand and be more innovative.
- Heartland project - Transforming former mining land back into use, providing space for the community and restoring heritage facilities, due to be completed later this year.
- Builds on investment from previous programmes in the Eden Project, art galleries such as the Tate in St Ives and Combined Universities for Cornwall.
Communities Minister, Baroness Hanham said:
This funding will have a big impact in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, supporting people, regenerating communities and helping local businesses to flourish.
We need the small businesses and the private sector to lead our economic recovery and I want Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to share in and lead that growth. Whether it’s helping rural business through superfast broadband, or boosting tourism and helping our agricultural businesses to thrive.
I would also like to congratulate Fifteen Cornwall, as it enters its sixth year of giving young people the opportunity to develop skills in the restaurant industry.
The Government is currently exploring how in addition to European Regional Development Funding we can use Local Enterprise Partnerships who have specific local knowledge to provide their expertise in business support and cultivate innovation in local communities.
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