Cornwall Council and Cornwall Marine Network call on the UK Government to continue with Pan-European funding programmes
By Binzy Reynolds:
Cornwall Council is asking the Government to ensure that the UK continues to access Pan-European funding programmes, available for non-member states, so Cornwall’s businesses and communities continue to benefit across a number of sectors and grow the local economy. Continued access to funding will lead to fresh opportunities for the local economy. Cornwall’s skills base and expertise will be promoted to new contacts in other regions.
Since 2000, the funds have brought over £7 million into the economy of Cornwall. The lasting social and economic impact of these activities is significant.
Among many groups who have already benefited are:
• A network of 200 female entrepreneurs, on each side of the Channel, supported to develop their skills, start their own business and begin exporting.
• Cross Channel Film Labs, who have developed links between screenwriting, visual effects and 3D innovators in Cornwall and Finistère, in a bid to produce a new generation of ambitious and technically innovative film projects.
• More than 16,000 young people, who have taken part in exchange vocational work experiences and received marine careers advice across a number of EU countries.
The opportunity to continue participating in cooperation programmes with EU partners should be agreed as part of the UK’s Brexit deal. These programmes are available to non-member states, and there are different ways to participate. For example, Norway currently contributes to the INTERREG programme, allowing Norwegian organisations to take part in joint projects. At a meeting of interested regions and stakeholders from the UK and France, Cornwall Council called on the UK Government to negotiate this important deal.
The Council also cited maintaining its unique 30-year old partnership with Finistère in Brittany. It shares experiences and expertise citing a deep cultural understanding between the two regions as crucial to Cornwall’s post-Brexit plans.
Cllr Bob Egerton, Economy and Planning Portfolio Holder said:
“Cornwall is open for business. We are an outward looking region, proud of our longstanding partnerships across the channel. For almost 30 years, we have worked successfully with Finistère. We look to the UK government to enable regional cooperation that is vital for the prosperity of regions like Cornwall and Finistère.”
Paul Wickes MBE, CEO of Cornwall Marine Network said:
“Since 2005, CMN has worked in partnership collaboration with 8 marine organisations in Brittany (as well as 66 across the EU) to jointly engage more than 16,000 young people in exchange vocational work experiences and marine careers advice.
“Additionally, Marine Engineering Apprentices from Cornwall have gained technical and cultural added-value during work placements with marine businesses in Finistere. We have recently researched and identified the emerging skills needs of the offshore renewable energy sector.
“Currently CMN is supporting the capacity building of a Finistere agency to engage SMEs in Apprenticeships, many for the first time.“