The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, was in Cornwall this week, to discuss the Devolution Deal and the area’s post Brexit plans for the future.
During his visit, he also toured the Aerohub Enterprise Zone at Cornwall Airport Newquay and signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with Cornwall Council and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
John Pollard, Leader of Cornwall Council, said “We were very pleased to welcome the Secretary of State to Cornwall. We know that he is keen to understand the distinct aspects of life and work here and we were delighted to explain the schemes and opportunities that are available through our work with our partners and the implementation of our Devolution Deal.
“As trailblazers for rural devolution we are keen to move onto the next stages of devolved powers and especially our ‘double devolution’ so that more freedoms and responsibilities can be shared with Parish and Town councils.”
Mark Duddridge, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, said “The visit was about showing the Secretary of State the scope of our ambition and our commitment to creating jobs and growth as we strive to close the earnings and productivity gap with other parts of the UK.
“His continued commitment to Aerohub is most welcome and we took the opportunity to brief him on our work with the British Business Bank to create a new multi-million investment fund that would directly support local business growth.”
Javid said: “Devolving power to where it belongs – in the hands of local people who know their area best – is a key part of our plan to create an economy that works for everyone.
“From the Enterprise Zone at Newquay to the devolution deal for the Duchy, I’ve been impressed by the energy across Cornwall and the drive to make sure these locally-led efforts succeed.”
Aerohub is England’s only Aerospace and Space focused Enterprise Zone (EZ). Cornwall Airport Newquay was awarded Enterprise Zone status in 2011 and is now the largest planning free zone in the UK covering 650 acres, with Goonhilly Earth Station becoming part of the EZ last year. Both locations now offer significant development land and access to development support, offering space and aerospace companies a unique operational environment for operations.
327 jobs in 12 enterprises have been created and safeguarded at the Enterprise Zone since 2012, at an average annual wage of £33,400. EZ occupiers include Bristow Helicopters, Apple Aviation, British International Helicopters and Leonardo Helicopters and Cobham.
Cornwall Airport Newquay, the UK’s fastest growing airport, is working with industry and other south west LEPs to create a National Centre for Future Flight Technologies by offering a safe licensed environment to test, operate and validate experimental and innovative Aircraft and Space Systems.
“We want to become a UK Spaceport to operate Spaceplane Systems,” said Enterprise Zone manager Miles Carden.
Goonhilly , the UK’s Gateway to Deep Space, is seen as a key component in delivering the UK’s contribution to international space missions and low cost access to space. The site is part of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure and its offers the space industry access to one the largest satellite earth stations in the world, with 60 communication dishes and direct access to deep sea fibre-optic cable with high speed connectivity to Europe, North America and Asia.
“The redevelopment of the Goonhilly site as part of the Cornwall EZ programme will transform it into a Space Science Centre,” Carden added.
“This, together with the recent successful bid for the site to become the South West Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence (SWCoESA), will help create a high value sector cluster and the environment to develop space-focused research and business opportunities.”
The Memorandum of Understanding outlines the commitment between the Government, Cornwall Council and the LEP for the delivery of the EZ.