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Cornwall and Isles of Scilly outperform Inner London

Statistics released today (Wednesday December 21), reveal that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had one of the fastest growing economies in the UK in 2003.

The local GVA (Gross Value Added) statistics are released annually by the Office for National Statistics. GVA is a way of measuring a region's wealth creation at the place of work.

The statistics for 2003 show that, while Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is still bottom of the regional GVA table in the UK, its percentage growth at 6.8 per cent was well above the UK average of 5.6 per cent and higher even than Inner London at 5.7 per cent.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "These figures demonstrate that by 2003 it was clear that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had started its journey towards economic recovery.

"These statistics have been released shortly after the news that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will qualify for further European investment after 2006. I hope the region can maximise this further opportunity and build on the successful foundations that have been laid by Objective One.

"Since the Objective One Programme began we have seen continued, accelerated growth in the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. In those first three years of the programme, projects were just starting to have an influence but we have to remember that this is long term investment which will have an effect in anything from 10 years to a generation.

"However today we can see visible evidence of regeneration in the Combined Universities in Cornwall, almost 100 per cent Broadband coverage, an additional 258 units of workspace, the dualling of the main railway line and investment in Newquay Airport."

Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall County Council Economy Portfolio holder, said: "The percentage growth in GVA for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is one of the highest in the UK. This is great news as was the announcement that we will receive a large amount of further investment from Europe after Objective One.

"It was clear that in 2003 the feelgood factor was also growing with renewed confidence both within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and from those looking to invest in the region. The fact that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly was still at the bottom of the UK table, although catching up fast, demonstrates that this extra investment will be needed.

"For Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, achieving sustainable growth means focussing on the pillars of a more knowledge-driven economy. The essential support for businesses trying to 'do things smarter' include bespoke workspace; better access and connectivity including top class IT; research and development facilities and a supply of new knowledge and ideas in the form of graduates and new businesses."

Back in 2003 the Combined Universities in Cornwall had still not opened and neither had the Knowledge Spa – these both opened in September 2004. Alongside those projects come incubation facilities that will encourage business growth through contact with knowledge (via graduates), research, facilities and manpower.

Tolvaddon Business Park had been open for a year. The environmentally friendly buildings now house several "green" businesses as well as the actnow headquarters.

The actnow project to encourage businesses across the region to access high speed broadband and to use that world class facility to their economic advantage was in full swing. The number of businesses connected by the end of 2003 was 2663. This is dramatically more than the number by the end of 2002 - 760 – but also much smaller than this December's (2005) number - more than 7,000.

Traditional industries were also being supported with investment in food, farming and tourism both directly and through several gateway funds. For instance, farmers and fishermen were able to invest in equipment to save time, improve efficiencies or add value to their product.

For further information please contact the Clare Morgan of the Objective One communications team on 01872 223439 or email:


Editor's notes:



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

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