“Gifts” for Cornwall ahead of G7 talks

Investment in three Cornish towns worth more than £65m and a major nature recovery initiative across 21,000 hectares of land were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night, as he prepared to host the G7 Summit of major world leaders in Carbis Bay.

(From the print edition of today’s Western Morning News)

The Town Deals announced for Penzance, St Ives and Camborne will fund projects at the heart of communities in some of Cornwall’s most deprived areas.

This includes creating a new network of foot and cycle paths across Camborne, Penzance and from St Ives to St Erth. Community hubs including theatres, sports clubs and historic buildings will also be restored and expanded, to ensure both residents and visitors can fully enjoy the cultural heritage of the region. 

Other funding will go to sustain businesses and commercial sectors most badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and to create new business hubs in the towns designed to re-establish them as “economic powerhouses and centres of innovation” – creating new jobs.

And in an effort to reverse the decline in biodiversity and restore Cornwall’s natural environment the Government, in partnership with Natural England and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, is launching a land restoration and regeneration programme, planting trees, restoring peat, making improvements to water quality, recreating scarce habitats and reintroducing lost and declining species such as dormice and the marsh fritillary. 

Boris Johnson, said: “As the eyes of the world look to Cornwall this week, not only will they see an area of outstanding beauty, they will witness a region that is innovative, exciting and looking firmly towards a bright future.

“The exciting projects we have announced today are a fitting legacy for a region playing host to some of the most important diplomatic talks in a generation. As the world builds back better from coronavirus, Cornwall will lead the way.” 

Natural England Chair, Tony Juniper, said: “We are very pleased to announce this new G7 environmental legacy project in Cornwall. It will assist with nature recovery through reconnecting habitats and ecosystems across the region, contributing to the conservation of rare species, carbon capture and improved water quality.”

The Government says it is working closely with Cornish leaders and institutions to shape the long-term legacy for the region from hosting the G7.  The Summit this week will profile local contractors – including its website being designed in Cornwall, tables for the Summit being made in Falmouth and gifts for world leaders being sourced from St Ives. Ahead of the Summit, the Government has also made a £7.8m investment into Cornwall Airport Newquay’s facilities.

Visit Cornwall estimates the total economic impact of hosting the G7 Summit will be £50 million – £24m during the event itself, and over £26m from future growth in the international tourist market over the next five years.