Cornwall’s Devolution Deal boosted by Chancellor’s Budget announcements
In the budget today Chancellor George Osborne made two announcements which will boost the delivery of Cornwall’s Devolution Deal.
As part of today’s Budget, it has been announced that Cornwall will receive a transport capital allocation of £26.1m for each of the next five years to plan the programme of infrastructure investment required to support the move to a One Public Transport System for Cornwall in December 2018. The One Public Transport System will help deliver an integrated public transport system with smart ticketing and fares and timetables for combined travel between bus, rail and ferry services.
This will see the integration of routes, timetabling and ticketing for all local bus, ferry and rail services under one identifiable brand which, combined with infrastructure improvements, will provide a consistent level of service based on the needs of the customers. By significantly improving the service to both existing passengers and non-users we will improve the appeal of public transport, drive up patronage on bus and rail and bring about an upturn in revenue to make the network as a whole more financially viable in the future.
Under the deal, Cornwall Council will also have new bus franchising powers which will enable the Council to specify what services we want to have and when they will run.
Furthermore, the Council are working with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Great Western Railway on the planned improvements to the rail network. These include an upgraded sleeper service, enhanced signalling which will allow a new half hourly service on the mainline and improved rolling stock. The aim is to combine the improvements to rail and bus services to achieve One Public Transport System for Cornwall in December 2018.
As part of the Cornwall Devolution Deal, a priority for Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership is to develop and grow the marine energy sector in Cornwall and today the government has agreed to provide a £15 million funding package to drive work to develop a Hayle, Falmouth and Tolvaddon MarineHub Enterprise Zone.
The Wave Hub, the world’s largest wave energy testing facility, will also be transferred to Cornwall Council to develop the facility as part of this low-carbon MarineHub Enterprise Zone. The package of support includes additional investment, the Enterprise Zone and transfer of ownership of Wave Hub to Cornwall Council to further develop this key asset.
For those who do not know anything about the Wave Hub, it is a wave energy testing facility off the coast of Hayle, in Cornwall. It was constructed in 2010 to support the testing of wave energy technologies by providing an offshore electricity connection to the national grid, thus enabling developers to test their technology and export power in offshore conditions.
The Cornwall Marine Renewables Enterprise Zone, called MarineHub, part of the Cornwall Devolution Deal and the first low-carbon enterprise zone in England.
MarineHub will include the new Marine Renewables Business Park at Hayle, plus two adjoining sites; two sites within Falmouth Docks and land at Tolvaddon Energy Park that is already consented for industrial and office development. It will add to the region’s existing marine energy assets which include the Wave Hub offshore energy test site 10 miles from Hayle, the FabTest nursery test site in Falmouth Bay, and extensive research and supply chain capabilities.
MarineHub will be managed by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, which also manages the Aerohub Enterprise Zone at Cornwall Airport Newquay and Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station.
Good news, makes a change from funding cuts….
Further information on the Cornwall Devolution Deal http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/devolution
Information on Enterprise zones http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/business/economic-development/enterprise-zones/