Objective One gives £1.8 million boost to regeneration work

Work on an innovative new business park near Camborne is to begin by the end of this month (November) thanks to over £1.8 million in European money secured through the Objective One programme.

The news will give a major boost to regeneration work in one of Cornwall’s most economically depressed areas, as well as providing exciting new facilities for an important emerging commercial sector in the county.

Tolvaddon Energy Park is a landmark project being developed by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) to support small businesses producing and developing environmentally sustainable products and technologies.

This was one of the key business sectors identified in the Single Programming Document submitted to the European Commission in order to get Objective One funding.

The Tolvaddon development will see over 1.3 hectares of a brownfield site next to the A30, which has stood derelict for 15 years, being given new life. The SWRDA project, which will cost over £4 million in total, will employ around 80 people during the 52-week construction phase as well as over 100 once the energy park is in operation.

As well as providing job opportunities in an emerging new Cornish industry the energy park will also set new standards in building design and environmentally sustainable development that have not been seen in Cornwall before.

Tolvaddon will provide office and business accommodation targeted at small businesses in Cornwall’s environmental technology sector – with a particular emphasis on renewable energy firms.

By supporting this important new business sector identified as a programme priority, the energy park project supports Objective One’s vision of increasing prosperity in a sustainable long-term basis by supporting new, high-quality and innovative businesses that can compete in specialist sectors – both at home and abroad.

SWRDA area manager Stephen Bohane said: “This is a highly significant project in the continued regeneration of the Camborne-Redruth-Pool area.

“The Tolvaddon project sits alongside other work by the SWRDA in the area, such as Alma Place, West End Stores and Tolgarrick Road. It also fits in with the strategic plan we are developing in consultation with the local community.”

Mr Bohane said the high standards of building design and environmentally sustainable development were also particularly significant. He said: “Using Objective One has enabled us to raise our aspirations and do things at a higher standard as well as to provide quality jobs.”

Environmental building features

Tolvaddon Energy Park will be a far cry from the kind of enormous sheds typical of industrial parks around the outskirts of many towns.

The buildings will use traditional materials such as granite and slate, while incorporating the latest in environmentally sustainable design and building techniques to save energy, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emission.

The buildings will also have an innovative “grey water” system that uses rainwater and other recycled water for uses where drinking quality water is not required, reducing the development’s demand on normal water supplies.

The development will also feature an “earth energy” system using around 40 boreholes which will draw up geothermal heat for each building.

Lighting in the buildings will be provide by a system known as high frequency ballast lighting that provides high power flicker and noise-free lighting but with a reduced power consumption. The “intelligent” system also uses infra-red detectors to tell if a building is unoccupied and lighting can be turned off.

Objective One Setting the Environmental Standard

When the Objective One partnership drew up that bid that secured the £300 million in European funding for Cornwall and Scilly, they also considered some wider issues.

Although the Programme has five priority areas – such as supporting the small business sector and developing skills – it also has three themes that cut across the whole programme and that every project must address.

These themes are environmental sustainability, equal opportunities and information communication technology.

Mark Yeoman of the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group explained why the Tolvaddon Energy Park is such a good example of addressing the environmental theme.

He said: “The development will provide much needed high quality workspace which sets new standards in environmental performance

“Maximising the positive landscape impact by insisting on high levels of both hard and soft landscaping, including the use of local materials, will not only create an attractive physical environment but also improve the economic sustainability of the development and its attractiveness to potential occupiers.”

He added that the project also demonstrates prudent use of natural resources – doing more with less – including the use of:

  • Geothermal heating rather than conventional fossil fuel based heating

  • Maximum insulation levels including triple glazing

  • Grey water systems for all water uses with the exception of drinking water

  • Intelligent electrical lighting systems with very low wattage lights
  • Mr Yeoman said: “These features thereby minimise resource use in the running of the building - both energy and water - saving money and in using renewable, geothermal, energy reducing carbon dioxide emissions to the environment, the major pollutant linked to global climate change.

    “Taking advantage of the business opportunities offered by the environment -- the Tolvaddon Energy Park is targeted at the environmental and earth science technologies sectors, business sectors with a predicted future of strong economic growth - creating jobs and wealth.”

    He concluded: “The Tolvaddon Energy Park clearly demonstrates that we can develop high quality projects which make good sense for business and for the environment.”


    Editors notes:

    Background to approval

    The Tolvaddon project was recommended for approval by the Working Group at its second meeting on Thursday 9th November.

    The Working Group approved a grant of £1,860,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

    The Tolvaddon project was one of eight projects, worth over £3.7 million in European funding recommended for approval. The remaining seven projects of the eight recommended for approval will be announced once the necessary legal and financial conditions have been agreed.

    The RDA acquired the site because of private sector unwillingness to enter into speculative developments primarily due to the low level of rent that will be gained and the anticipated short-term nature of leases.

    Next Working Group meeting

    The Working Group is also due to meet again on Thursday 14th December, when another batch of projects will be considered for approval.


    Jason Clark
    Communications Manager
    Objective One Partnership Office
    Castle House
    Pydar Street
    Truro TR1 2UD
    Tel:01872 241379
    Fax:01872 241388