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30.05.06
Statistics reveal high growth for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is leading EU regions with its economic growth, according to new statistics.

According to the Eurostat regional statistics for 2003 - which are the most up to date statistics published for 25 countries in the European Union - the GDP (gross domestic product) per head of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had risen to 75.8% of the EU average. This is 10% higher than 2001.

GDP is a way of measuring wealth creation in the workplace and Eurostat advises that it can be used to compare the degree of economic development of regions. Cornwall and the isles of Scilly originally qualified for Objective One because its GDP was well below the EU average of 75%.

The Eurostat statistics show the following trends:

Cornwall shows the greatest improvement of any of the regions at 10.5 % points and is the only region with an improvement of more than 10 % points. The next best is a Czech region, Stredni Cechy on 9.6% points.
Cornwall's improvement is dramatically better than any of the other selected UK regions.

The news confirms 2003 regional UK statistics that were released in December by the Office for National Statistics. Those GVA (similar to GDP) figures clearly showed that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had one of the fastest growing economies in the UK in 2003.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "This is great news. The Eurostat figures show a hugely encouraging growth for the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in by 2003.

"Since the Objective One programme began in 2001 the journey to make this a wealthier region has been steadily accelerating with investment in key areas including the Combined Universities in Cornwall, The Eden Project, business support, transport infrastructure, IT, workspace, local produce and training.

"We must remember this journey was still in an early stage in 2003 and future investment must continue to be strategically targeted to encourage further sustainable growth."

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.

The latest high profile project to be launched this year is Fifteen Cornwall where young people from targeted areas across Cornwall are being trained in restaurant skills. Fifteen Cornwall is also sourcing the majority of its top quality produce locally.

Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall County Council Economy Portfolio holder, said: "This is great news and serves to confirm the good work going on in Cornwall is having an effect.

"To make this effect permanent and achieve sustainable growth we need to focus on creating a more knowledge-driven economy providing tools such as bespoke workspace; top class IT; research and development facilities and a supply of new graduates and businesses."

John Berry, Managing Director of Cornwall Enterprise, the economic development arm of Cornwall County Council commented: "The new Eurostat GDP figures are hugely encouraging and certainly highlight the amount of hard work that has gone on in the county over the past five years to encourage economic development.

"An immense pride has taken hold in Cornwall there are many agencies, businesses and people that can take a lot of credit for the changes that have occurred. Cornwall Enterprise has played its part with an active role in the regeneration of the county; securing funding, developing projects, broadband infrastructure, inward investment, tourism and training to name but a few. These have all helped contribute towards a more prosperous Cornwall and I am delighted that the figures have begun to recognise these efforts.

"Cornwall Enterprise is currently busy preparing plans for the new round of Convergence funding which offers Cornwall a wonderful opportunity to build on our previous success and capitalise on the knowledge and specialist skills we have gained."

For further information please contact Clare Morgan on 01872 223439 or 07973 813647 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

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Editor's notes:

Cornwall originally qualified for Objective One status because of its low GDP.

GDP is usually shown as a percentage of the EU average. The more employees earn in a region, the higher the GDP. Objective One in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is aimed at raising GDP by creating higher paid, quality jobs.

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

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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