Objective One looks to long-term investment
The official body monitoring Objective One says the programme is now increasing its focus on developing the projects that will deliver the long-term investment essential to improving the region’s fortunes.
The Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) – which includes representatives from agriculture, business, fisheries and other industry sectors as well as government agencies, unions, voluntary groups and councils – met for the first time this year on Friday 23rd March to review Objective One’s progress.
PMC chair Jane Henderson said: “I am very pleased with the significant progress that has been made so far to get the programme established.
“The Objective One programme was launched in July last year when we received approval from the European Union. The structures we have put in place to ensure funding is properly invested in an accountable fashion and in good quality projects are now all working. A total of 81 projects have been approved and the total allocation of European money now stands at over £44 million.”
Ms Henderson, who is Regional Director of the Government Office for the South West, added:
“Much of the initial funding so far has been for training projects – but many of these also have important implications for business, including providing training for staff and other business services. It is also right that we put investing in the people of Cornwall & Scilly at the top of the agenda.”
She concluded: “But we also need greater emphasis on developing high-quality projects that will provide long-term investment in our economy and infrastructure. The name of the game is delivering sustainable prosperity for everyone.”
Enlarging the workforce
The PMC was also given presentations by the programme’s Learning and Skills Task Force and Information Communications Technology (ICT) Task Force.
Alan Stanhope, co-chair of the Learning and Skills Task Force, said prosperity could be increased by targeting the tens of thousands of people who are not registered unemployed but are economically inactive – such as those who have taken early retirement, the long-term sick and women not registered as unemployed.
Dr Stanhope, who is principal of Cornwall College, said that although there are currently 9,000 people registered as unemployed in Cornwall and Scilly, there are another 69,000 who could work given the right support and encouragement – adding to the size and skills of the available workforce.
Switching on Cornwall & Scilly
The PMC was also given a presentation on how to ‘switch on’ Cornwall and Scilly and seize the opportunities provided by ICT so that the region leads the way in making the benefits available to everyone – including individuals, businesses and communities.
The core of the strategy from the ICT Task Force is an integrated approach, bringing together local and national initiatives to ensure a fast and well-informed uptake of e-commerce and other ICT opportunities – supported by top quality suppliers, both global and local.
The PMC was told the vision is to turn Cornwall and Scilly into a world-class exemplar for how ICT can be used for both economic regeneration and social development.
The PMC was told that a series of roadshows for local business is being launched in April – through the Cornwall Business Partnership and new Small Business Service – to explain how individual firms can engage in the programme.
For more details about Objective One – including approved projects, task force strategies and the programme’s aims and priorities – call the programme’s Helpline on 0800 0280120 or visit the website www.objectiveone.com.
Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) membership
The PMC comprises nearly 40 members and is chaired by Jane Henderson, regional director of the Government Office for the South West. Other organisations represented on the PMC include:
Councils: Cornwall County Council, Council of the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall’s six district councils
Government departments: MAFF, Department of Environment Transport & the Regions, Department of Trade & Industry, Department for Employment & Education
European Commission: Agriculture, Employment & Social Affairs, Fisheries and Regional Policy Directorates
Other public: South West Regional Development Agency, education, environment and heritage sectors.
Private sector: Cornwall Business Partnership, NFU, Cornwall Commercial Tourism Federation, Cornish Fish Producers, Cornwall Agricultural Group
Community & Social Partners: Voluntary Sector Forum, TUC
Objective One Partnership Office
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