Up to £1 billion will be spent on economic investment in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as new European funding kicks in.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been earmarked for approximately £500 million of investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) from 2014 to 2020.
Business leaders say the European Union money, together with investment from the private sector and local authorities and possible extra funding from the Government’s growth fund would add up to the £1 billion mark.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is the only area in England to receive this level of European funding because of its persistent weak economic performance.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (Lep) is the business body that will lead on the distribution of the European money.
Chris Pomfret, Lep chairman, said: “Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been in receipt of EU funding for over 20 years and although great progress has been made from what was a very low economic base, we haven’t closed the productivity gap with the rest of Europe.
“That means we need to continue to make bold investments if we are to realise our ambitions, and take some calculated risks. It’s also time to try new things and we are asking Government for maximum flexibility and local decision making powers so we can target this funding where it is most needed.”
Mr Pomfret said the expected areas of growth were using technology to improve public health services, renewable energy and agricultural technology.
The Lep's draft investment strategy has been submitted to the Government and is available to view at www.cornwallandislesofscillylep.com