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Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP Budget comment
Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This will be seen as a pro-business Budget, with a series of Coronavirus emergency measures including sick pay provisions and access to finance for business interruption, and support for the self-employed. The suspension of business rates for small high street firms is a welcome shot in the arm for our town centres, and the £3,000 of grant funding for those paying little or no business rates is welcome. And there will be more money for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub, which is a critical part of business support funded by the LEP.
“We would have liked to have seen a formal commitment from the Chancellor towards establishing the Great South West as the next regional growth alliance to rebalance the UK economy. That said, we warmly welcome the commitment to deliver the long overdue Camelford bypass on the A39 Atlantic Highway, and to upgrade the A303 which remains a key artery to our region.
“We were disappointed that there is still no detail about the Shared Prosperity Fund, and although the Chancellor pledged ‘to match current levels of funding for each nation from EU structural funds’ as a minimum, we will be seeking clarity that this still guarantees Cornwall a ring-fenced allocation as previously promised by the Prime Minister.
“We look forward to the publication of a revised Green Book in the summer, which promises to revisit how government investment decisions are made and to make sure that all areas achieve their economic potential. This includes looking at how value for money is assessed, and we support any move away from a slavish adherence to GVA towards a more rounded view of prosperity that takes account of environmental growth, health and wellbeing.”