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17.11.06
European investment to help transform Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's economy

By 2013, Cornwall's economy will be transformed with new businesses, better connections to the rest of the world and a wide range of challenging and high paid jobs and will be well on the way to becoming one of the leading 'green' economies in Europe.

That is the exciting vision laid out at the start of a formal consultation exercise to agree where the £270 million Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Convergence Programme will be spent over the years between 2007 and 2013. The money will come from the European Regional Development Fund.

A three month consultation period begins today (Friday 17 November) to discuss and agree Cornwall's collective priorities for the Convergence programme. The South West RDA is leading the consultation on behalf of partners and, following the consultation, aims to submit the full programme for EU approval in March 2007.

Jane Henderson, Chief Executive of the South West RDA said: "Convergence is a massive opportunity for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, building as it does on the present Objective One programme which is helping bring about so many advances across the area.

"Convergence will be different. The emphasis will be more on strategic long-term investments which will help take Cornwall's economy into new areas, provide quality high paid jobs and ensure its businesses and industries are competitive on the world stage for years to come."

Cornwall County Council's Executive member for the Economy, Andrew Mitchell (Lib Dem) added, "Convergence will build on much of the progress made under Objective One but there is widespread agreement already that the new programme must fiercely prioritise and only tackle areas which could have a transforming effect on the Cornish economy, ensuring everyone in Cornwall sees and shares in the benefits, and that they are both financially and environmentally sustainable."

"During the consultation we will also be working with the RDA and other partners to agree delivery arrangements for this Programme. We are looking to agree arrangements that are Cornwall based and ensure we make the right investments for Cornwall's long term prosperity and deliver better jobs for future generations."


Following the 13 week consultation period, further preparations would then take place during 2007 and the Convergence programme itself is expected to start later in 2007.

The consultation builds on nearly two-years' work by partners in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and very closely links to Strategy and Action – the area's long-term economic vision.

The consultation proposes targeting investments within four main economic themes:

Innovation and Research Development
Enterprise and Investment
Learning and Skills
Economic Infrastructure and Place-Based Regeneration

For further information please contact Pip Hatt at the South West Regional Development Agency on 01392 229567 or email pip.hatt@southwestrda.org.uk.

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Editor's notes:

1. The South West of England Regional Development Agency was established by government in 1999 to promote the long-term economic success of the region. It does this by working with others to give people the skills they need, encouraging enterprise, improving infrastructure, helping communities with regeneration and promoting the strengths of the region.
2. There is a separate consultation taking place to decide spending priorities for the national European Social Fund programme, of which about £120m is available for Cornwall. Arrangements are being made to ensure this consultation takes place in conjunction with the consultation announced in this Notice.
3. There is a similar consultation taking place in the rest of the South West region for the Competitiveness European Regional Development Fund programme. This offers about £74m of support outside of Cornwall.

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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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