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Cornwall to benefit from landmark £360 million devolution deal

Cornwall to benefit from £60 million devolution deal

Almost 50 per cent of England will be covered by a devolution deal once a new £360m deal with Cornwall is signed off today by Levelling Up Minister, Dehenna Davison.

The new deal means that Cornwall Council will have greater financial control over key issues in the area and also greater influence with the government to tackle challenges relating to second homes.

In addition to this extra influence and power, Cornwall Council will also soon have a Mayor. This Mayor will be elected by the people of Cornwall and provide the area with a strong voice for discussions with central government.

Where the money is going?

The £360m deal will be spread over 30 years, ensuring Cornwall has stability over a long period of time. As a rural area, the region faces unique challenges that can be targeted through this vast sum of money.

One major problem that rural areas face is to do with broadband and internet connection. While studies continue to take place in a bid to resolve this issue, the £360m devolution deal will focus primarily on the following areas:

  • Housing – A big problem in Cornwall is the issue of second homes and holiday lets. As it is such a popular holiday destination, this is no real surprise but it does become an issue when you consider that earlier this year there were over 20,000 people in the area on the housing register. This deal provides £8.7m for new homes to be built on brownfield land to try and alleviate this housing crisis, as well as providing Cornwall Council with a closer working relationship with the government to thrash out a second homes policy.
  • Transport – As a rural area, the transport links throughout Cornwall aren’t as sophisticated as they are in urban areas. This new devolution deal will provide the local council with £500,000 to introduce a new smart ticketing system and to improve transport planning across the region in general.
  • Culture and heritage: One of the many reasons why Cornwall is such a popular tourist destination is because of its culture and heritage. £500,000 will be pledged to support this, including the promotion of the Cornish language.
  • Tourism: Thousands upon thousands flock to Cornwall during the Summer to experience the beautiful beaches and picturesque coastal walks. This deal ensures that the government will work with Cornwall Council to encourage more visitors throughout the year, rather than just in the Summer.
  • Education: As part of a wider plan, the government is set to fully devolve the Adult Education Budget from 2025. This means that Cornwall Council will have complete control over how they support and educate adult learners in the area.
cornwall
Image- Kevon Law, Wikimedia Commons

A beautiful area of the UK with a rich heritage

Levelling Up Minister, Dehenna Davison. has been very complimentary of the region and believes that this new deal will “empower local leaders who know the issues that most affect the region.” She said:

“Cornwall is a beautiful area of the UK with a rich heritage, a renowned coastline and a fantastic array of businesses. But for too long it has not received the levers it needs to level up and address the unique challenges it faces.”

“I am proud to sign the devolution agreement today and I look forward to working with Cornwall to turbo-charge levelling up, spread opportunity and unleash this great area’s full economic potential.”

Dehanna Davison, Levelling Up Minister

Meanwhile, Councillor Linda Taylor, the current leader of Cornwall Council, has said that the deal “provides the certainty required to tackle the challenges we face.” She added:

This is a big deal for the whole of Cornwall and gives us the opportunity to secure more decision-making powers to shape the future of Cornwall for the benefit of residents for many years to come.

The proposed deal provides clarity in uncertain times and would allow us to make future plans with confidence, enabling us to deliver on our priorities to create a carbon-neutral Cornwall where everyone can start well, live well and age well.”

Final thought

Although the deal still needs to receive local consent and parliamentary approval, the Levelling Up Minister will be signing the deal in Cornwall today. It’s a huge step in the right direction for Cornwall and also suggests that the government are beginning to ramp up its levelling up agenda.

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