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02.04.08
Barclays Chief Executive visits Cornwall

Left to right: Simon Moore (Barclays Head of Commercial Banking South West), Thelma Sorensen (Chair, Cornwall Business Partnership), Chris Grigg (CEO Barclays Commercial Bank), Carleen Kelemen (Director, Partnership Office), Mark Marriott (Barclays Area Corporate Director, Plymouth and Cornwall)The Chief Executive of Barclays Commercial Bank, Chris Grigg, visited Cornwall this week to meet with key private and public investment sector representatives.

As part of the visit Mr Grigg attended a dinner at the Alverton Manor Hotel and met with business people including Simon Moore, Barclays Regional Corporate Director (Wales and South West); Mark Marriott, Barclays Area Corporate Director (Plymouth and Cornwall); Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership Office, and Thelma Sorensen, Chair of Cornwall Business Partnership.

Ms Kelemen said: "Chris's was a welcome visit that highlights the growing economic profile of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Views from leaders of a top international bank are clearly welcome and very useful."

"Barclays Commercial is fully committed to the county of Cornwall," added Mr Marriott. "As a bank, we are open for business and we're confident that the Convergence funding will make a positive impact to the local economy over the next five years. My team and I look forward to working with all our business partners to maximise the positive impact for all concerned."

Mrs Sorensen commented: "This sort of relationship between the region's private sector, public sector investment and experts in commercial banking provides essential support for the continuing, sustainable growth of Cornwall's economy."

For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media Relations Manager, Partnership Office, on 01872 223439/07973 813647 or email cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

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Editor's notes:

  • Convergence helpline telephone: 0800 028 0120.
  • In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the Convergence Programmes are made up of European Regional Development Fund (£311 million) and European Social Fund (£133 million). Convergence Programmes will run until 2013 and follow the successful Objective One Programme and prior to that Objective 5b.
  • The investment is intended to boost the region's economy by providing focussed support for business creating better quality, higher paid jobs. This support includes training and access to higher education, strengthening links between academia and business, improved airport and IT infrastructure, additional high quality workspace and specialist support to boost business productivity.
  • The European Regional Development Fund Operational Programme, which is this region's contract with the European Commission, was signed off by Danuta Hubner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, in December 2007. It contains four key areas of investment.
  • These are Innovation, Research and Development; Enterprise and Investment; Transformational Infrastructure (digital, transport and knowledge) and Unlocking the Economic Potential of Place.
  • Potential areas of investment already agreed by partners include the Combined Universities in Cornwall, enhancing the high speed broadband access that was delivered across the region during Objective One and Newquay Cornwall Airport.
  • The European Social Fund Convergence Programme Managing Authority is the Department for Work and Pensions, supported by Government Office South West.
  • The ESF Operational Programme will be targeted at tackling barriers to work, improving workforce skills and research and graduate activity. It will be delivered through co financing via the Learning and Skills Council and Jobcentre Plus.
  • The Convergence Programmes will need to clearly show how they are contributing to the Lisbon Agenda – this will mean a significant increase in emphasis on competitiveness, innovation and a more knowledge-based economy. It is proposed that about 80% of the Convergence Programmes should meet the objectives of the Lisbon Agenda – established at a conference in Lisbon, where the EU set itself the goal of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, closing the European Union's gap with America and Japan.
  • Unlike Objective One, investments will be commissioned rather than projects bidding into the Programmes.
  • Unlike Objective One the agricultural and fisheries funds will come from a national pot.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
The Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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