Cornwall Council has submitted a £100 million funding request in response to the Government’s Towns Deal Fund call for regeneration projects.
The cash will fund projects in St Ives, Camborne, Truro, and Penzance. Each was able to bid for up to £25m in funding for transformation projects to boost the local economy and open up new opportunities for residents.
The towns were chosen due to a number of factors linked to their economic and social position and related investment opportunities.
Since the announcement, Cornwall Council has been working closely with the four town deal boards and the Local Enterprise Partnership to develop an ambitious, yet realistic vision through the town investment plans.
The projects, which total more than £160m when including additional private and public co-funding, have been submitted to support the transformation of the local high streets and boost economic growth through improved transport, broadband connectivity, and development of skills and culture, while ensuring the plans align with Cornwall’s ambition for sustainable and green economy.
Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for culture, economy, and planning, said: “Our town vitality team at Cornwall Council have worked extremely hard to help the four town boards submit these impressive proposals.
“With covid hitting Cornwall’s economy hard and the G7 summit approaching, I hope the government will look to fund these bids in full. If they do, the towns can look to a much brighter future in coming years.
“We are also working hard with many other towns to help them create plans for their own town centres too. How the government responds to this first wave of town deals is being closely watched by people right across Cornwall.”
‘Exciting news amid challenging times’
In a joint statement, St Ives mayor, Tony Harris, and deputy mayor and town deal board member, Kirsty Arthur, welcomed the submission of the Town Investment Plan to government as marking the beginning of an exciting new era for the town.
They said: “All too often St Ives is seen only as an idyllic seaside town, and now will have the eyes of the world upon us during the G7 summit. But St Ives is much more. It has ambition and aspiration, but has rarely been a priority for infrastructure investment.
“It is a close-knit community, but also an area with high levels of child poverty, where many of our young people have seasonal jobs but have to leave if they want careers. This plan recognises the need to help St Ives recover from the pandemic, as being especially hard-hit due to our reliance on tourism and hospitality.
“Projects will bring greener spaces, healthier transport links, support for small businesses, ways to improve our digital capability, community housing, investment in live music and the arts, and more facilities for the young. All this on top of the initial award for a state-of-the-art skateboard park at Penbeagle and the Smeaton’s Pier project in support of our fishing community in St Ives.
“There are limits on the fund and it can’t do everything, but it’s exciting news amidst challenging times. We add our own thanks to all those who have worked so hard over the last year to develop the plan and look forward to a positive response from the government.”