£6 million of funding approved for new projects
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Objective One programme has recommended for approval a further £6 million of grant funding to nine new projects worth a total of £16 million.
The projects were recommended for approval by the March meeting of the Objective One Working Group last week. Subject to contracts being exchanged with the applicants, it takes the total amount of Objective One funding approved so far to £116 million, which is 39% of Cornwall’s total Objective One allocation.
The projects are spread across all four Objective One funds and include fishing, agriculture, training, tourism and business premises. Details of each project will be publicly announced once contracts are signed.
Objective One programme director Bill Bawden said: “It’s very encouraging to see such a wide range of quality projects spread across the Objective One programme, and there’s also a good spread in terms of size. One project is valued at almost £6.5 million, while another is just £4,495, of which a third, £1,573, will come from Objective One.
“It’s important to realise that Objective One is not just there for the bigger schemes but is helping people at a very local level. Some of the grants paid out to local businesses under the Objective One umbrella funds, for example, run to just a few hundred pounds but can make an enormous difference to the businesses involved.”
New figures from the Government Office for the South West, which administers the Objective One programme, show that the rate at which projects are spending their grant money has doubled in the last three months to £10.7 million, which is 3.5% of the total programme value.
The level of spend is dictated by the rate at which successful Objective One applicants claim their grant funding to finance their projects, which is paid quarterly in arrears. Under European rules, applicants have to spend the money first and then claim it back.
Cornwall must have spent £25 million of its Objective One funding by December of this year or risk handing back any shortfall, so it is well on the way towards exceeding that target.
Mr Bawden said: “The rate of spend has doubled in just three months, which is a trend we would expect to continue as more and more projects are approved and start to claim their grant.
“But we must not be complacent, and I would urge all projects to ensure they submit their spending claims on time so that we can reap maximum benefit from Objective One for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”
| Jason Clark
Objective One Partnership Office
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