Cornwall will benefit from new investment in its town centres and natural landscape under plans to create a long-term legacy from the G7 summit, which was held in the Duchy between 11 to 13 June.
World leaders gathered in Carbis Bay for crucial discussions on world issues and agreed action to tackle climate change, protect nature and lead a recovery from Covid-19.
The Town Deals announced for Camborne, Penzance and St Ives are worth over £65m and 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 and 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 Covid-19 and to create new business hubs in the towns, which will re-establish them as economic powerhouses and centres of innovation, creating long term, sustainable jobs.
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 major land restoration and regeneration programme across 21,000 hectares of land.
This nature recovery project involves 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 butterfly.
According to the government, these plans will ensure the beauty and biodiversity of Cornwall’s landscape is safeguarded for future generations and will establish the region as a role model, both across the UK and around the world when it comes to looking after the natural environment.
This restoration will also provide a huge boost to Cornwall’s efforts to become the first net zero region in the UK.
Reforestation and the restoration of wetlands through the project will take an estimated 440,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
To help Cornwall reach net zero faster, the government has also announced a package of measures to help individuals and companies take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Up to £1m of innovation funding earmarked for businesses in Cornwall to support their development of technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and energy storage.
- Establishing Cornwall as a pilot area for a new e-bike support scheme, e-bikes are the only electric vehicles not to receive grants at present.
- Subject to full business case approval, Cornwall will receive up to £150k to design and build ‘Kernosat’, a small satellite which will be used to monitor the local environment, with the potential for it to be launched from a UK spaceport next year.
As well as protecting the health and diversity of Cornwall, the government said the creation of a nature recovery area and decarbonisation efforts will support local farming businesses, create hundreds of skilled green jobs and apprenticeships and boost local tourism.