Carleen Kelemen's welcome to Danuta Hübner
(European Commissioner for Regional Policy) during her visit
to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on Monday 22 May 2006
Back in 1999 when we negotiated the Objective One Programme
for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall was a very
different place to the Cornwall of today.
Back then we wouldn't have envisaged media headlines such
as "Cool Cornwall" or "Cornwall's on a Roll" or
"Cornwall the Place to Think Differently" nor did we foresee
that in less than 6 years these new perceptions would be created
|| the success of the Tate Gallery in St Ives
||the National Maritime museum at Falmouth housing the
national small boat collection from Greenwich
||the buzz and excitement around the Extreme Sports Academy
at Watergate Bay
||the national and regional recognition for Cornish food
and drink - a renewal in the sense of pride of our local
produce and ability
||the growth of low cost airlines flying into Newquay
||the Peninsula Medical School and Knowledge Spa in Truro
||the Eden Project, one of the most photographed buildings
in the world – creating a new iconic image for Cornwall
and the perception of a "can-do" culture
||a 21st century IT infrastructure available to over 99%
of this peninsula
||or that we would be sitting in this wonderful building,
the hub of our Combined Universities in Cornwall
Back then, Commissioner, our economy was characterised by
a lack of confidence, recognition of market failure and years
of consistently having the lowest GVA per head in the UK.
Our problem was not one of unemployment but underemployment.
The quality of jobs was poor and average income levels were
32% below national levels.
Our traditional industries of agriculture, fishing and mining
were in long term decline and local economic conditions did
not support entrepreneurship or the emergence of competitive
And critically, our young people were leaving, leaving for
higher education or better career opportunities or simply
better paid full time jobs.
With Objective One came the opportunity to set out our vision
for a prosperous Cornwall and Isles of Scilly where all people
and communities share in an improving quality of life.
Creating that equality of opportunity where everyone is encouraged
to raise their aspirations for themselves and others, is what
drives Objective One and is at the heart of everything we
do. So our strategy was to create the conditions for new opportunities
whilst tackling those barriers to social and economic exclusion.
And in so doing we firmly set our sights on moving towards
a more knowledge based economy - this was going to be a long
term generational approach and to start we had to look to
refettle the structure of the Cornish economy and at the beginning
of this long journey create the beginning of a renaissance
through a new root for our future - the first ever Combined
Universities in Cornwall.
In working towards this we have:
||invested in quality workspace to attract quality businesses
which can offer better paid jobs. And have used the best
of sustainable technologies from Cornwall's mining past
||invested in our infrastructure where it is a barrier
to economic growth
||added value to traditional industries to preserve their
||invested in local food processors to use local produce
creating new markets and smarter ways of working through
collaboratives and the better use of modern technologies
||invested in the fabric and public areas of our historic
and much loved towns to make them more attractive places
to live and work and invest in
||jumped forward a generation in the creation and use
of an IT infrastructure for the 21st century - the virtual
bridge to address peripherality - from having less than
1% broadband access in 2000 we now have over 99% across
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
||reached out to those people of working age who are incapacitated
or disadvantaged and helped them to move closer to or
into the labour market
||created new pools of learning and knowledge for our
people and our businesses through the creation of the
Combined Universities in Cornwall, the Peninsula Medical
School and Knowledge Spa, and the Eden Project
Such a difference, Commissioner, in less than 6 years since
the Programme began; a difference characterised through Confidence,
Change, Quality, and Partnership. Core partnerships through
Cornwall County Council, District Councils, the Council of
the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency
and Government Office for the South West. Partnerships across
Europe, UK government, regional and local bodies - the exemplar
engagement of the Private Sector both in terms of strategic
guidance and delivery of projects.
And we are now seeing new partnerships emerging of businesses,
planners, universities and the local communities.
We have created these partnerships through hard work, transparency
and effective delivery. Strong partnerships which now have
the confidence and trust to continue the challenge that lies
As you have said in the past, Commissioner, "we reach
out to people we know and trust, those around tomorrow and
the day after."
And the economy? There are visible signs of change all around
us and after years of economic decline the local GVA statistics
for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for 2003 show us as one
of the fastest growing economies in the UK - at a percentage
growth of 6.8% - outperforming both the UK average and Inner
London in terms of rates of growth.
And the lessons and benefits of the Objective One Programme
have not just been for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly but
have informed both regional and national economic agendas
as well as providing new models of best practice for the European
||the actnow project reset the UK government's
approach to the rollout of broadband and the support for
||the innovative work with Jobcentre Plus which has played
a transformational role here in creating a new way of
reaching out and effectively helping the economically
inactive to work
||the Combined Universities in Cornwall model as the regenerator
of the economy and its outreach to business is being shared
across the UK and Europe
For me the difference lies in the attitude and aspirations
of the people around us. You can see it and feel it.
New types of businesses are emerging, particularly in the
media and IT sectors and traditional businesses are transforming
themselves through new knowledge and technologies to meet
the changing need of national and global markets and there
are people who have been supported by the Programme in overcoming
social and economic barriers:
||single parent who achieved her dream of being a bus
driver through the Truronian Training Project
||or our lady in her early 50s who for years would not
apply for a job because she had personal issues and has
now been assisted by the programme to overcome this and
apply for interviews
||the dairy farmers in Bodmin who, through the programme,
have diversified into bottled spring water which is selling
across restaurants in Cornwall and in London
||and the young man from Falmouth whose family couldn't
afford to send him away to university who now studies
here at the Hub
||and the young man who had a serious drink problem when
he was 14/15 years old and very little hope that life
would get better - he is now one of the trainee chefs
at the newly opened Jamie Oliver Fifteen Cornwall project
at Watergate Bay, a project supported by the Programme
President Barroso in his address "Working together for growth
and jobs - A New start for the Lisbon agenda" has laid down
some serious and ambitious challenges for the next round of
structural funds and we are ready to accept that challenge
to concentrate our efforts for delivering those stepchange
investments focussing on knowledge, education, innovation
and distinctiveness which will deliver longer lasting growth
and creating better jobs accessible to all.
Our work is really just beginning.
Director of the Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and
the Isles of Scilly
Commission Rewards Programme Success
Today sees the first public accolade from the Commission
for the successful performance of the first half of the Objective
One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The Programme has received an additional 5.15% on top of
the total Objective One budget for meeting all its performance
Richard Bayly, Director of Government Office for the South
West in Devon and Cornwall said, "This award is a rate
of confidence by the European Commission and the UK Government
in the way Objective One has been implemented in Cornwall
and the Isles of Scilly.
"The European programmes all plan for a 4 % performance
bonus so it is particularly pleasing that the Objective One
programme in Cornwall has exceeded this, winning almost £7
million more than the usual award."
And it is in the incremental uplift of the award that the
Commission and UK Government are signalling their acknowledgement
of the unique attributes of the Programme here in Cornwall
and the Isles of Scilly. Attributes that mark a new confidence
and ambition in piloting different projects, in laying down
long term investment plans that transcend political cycles
and in looking outward to forge partnerships that will accelerate
the evolution of our economy towards the future that awaits
us in the 21st century.
County Council Leader John Lobb says, "This is a tremendous
accolade for the Objective One Partnership. For the EC to
recognise our partnership structure and the overall ambition
of our projects is a clear sign they consider the Programme
to be a model of best practice."
And sincere thanks to all of you who have given such energy
and commitment to the Programme in helping us all achieve
this accolade today and in laying the foundation for sustainable
Now to the second half – which is often the hardest
part. We need to build on our strengths and lessons learnt
and follow through with the timely development of complex
capital projects that will underpin our infrastructure for
a more knowledge based economy.
Money isn't the issue. Maintaining our ambition and making
the difference in the limited time we have left is what matters.
This is our Programme and working together we can confidently
'make it happen'.
Director, Objective One Partnership
here to view the full media release
Cornwall: The Mix
On the 7th May 2003 His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall
visited the newly opened Helford Building at Truro College
for an Objective One showcase event. Featuring a range of
exhibits, the event demonstrated how Objective One has made
real differences to the industries and businesses of Cornwall.
here to access press releases about the event
or on the links below to view the speeches and photographs.