Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP has been allocated £14.3m from the GBF for a wide-ranging package of projects that will deliver a much-needed boost to the local economy.
The projects were chosen following strict government criteria around deliverability in the next 18 months, value for money and their fit with the LEP’s Local Industrial Strategy.
In the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP, the funded projects are expected to deliver a new and greener economic recovery through new retrofitting schemes, advanced & greener manufacturing, higher productive capacity and town centre rejuvenation. This will provide economic security to more of the population whilst promoting a greener agenda. This fits with the LEP’s key priorities by focusing on key emerging industries – such as Data and Space – whilst ensuring economic growth remains as clean, circular and inclusive.
The £14.3m GBF investment will attract a further £44.6m of public and private sector match funding, representing a total investment of almost £59m, supporting 1,100 jobs and furthering a number of Cornwall’s green recovery ambitions around renewable energy technologies, geo-resources and sustainability.
Social Housing Retrofit Acceleration
Lead by Cornwall Council (CC), this project is piloting a Whole House Retrofit Innovation (WHRI) scheme in the County. Working with SSE (ECO provider) CC are developing a delivery model for reducing the cost of delivering WHR retrofit at scale. By the end of January 2022, the project aims to deliver over 650 domestic retrofits, which will also lead to over 430,000 kg of CO2 savings.
Councillor Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall’s cabinet member for homes, said: “This project involves fitting solar panels to 600 Cornwall Council homes, alongside whole house retrofits for 42 Council homes, expanding our recently announced 83 home Whole House Retrofit Innovation pilot. The planned upgrades, which will significantly reduce energy bills for Council tenants, represents an important further step in our plan to make the Council’s homes warmer and greener – a key priority of our ambitious climate emergency programme which we are accelerating as part of our Covid recovery plans.
Saputo Dairy UK – Project Generation Capacity & Infrastructure
This project plans for cheese (and associated Demin Whey) volumes to increase by 12,000t over the next 3 years with a further 4,000t of GOS (a form of prebiotic) being produced primarily for export markets. In order to secure this growth in a sustainable way, investment will be provided into supporting infrastructures that will be able to both drive increased capacity whilst ensuring environmental compliance. This will safeguard 200 jobs and save over 4000kg of carbon emissions.
Hall For Cornwall (HFC)
This project is creating a purpose-built, accessible theatre with up to 1300 seats and destination bars and cafes and new workspace for the Creative Industries in Truro. This will provide a quality public programme, generate more profit to extend the successful youth programmes and invest in the local workforce, supply chain and associate companies. Audiences will increase to over 300,000 a year, driving valuable footfall to Truro city centre; supporting both the immediate bounce back and longer-term vitality of the high street in Truro
Aerospace/Space Hangar, Cornwall Airport Newquay
An investment in a strategic facility provided by Cornwall Airport (Newquay), this property will be available to lease to businesses in the satellite and space sectors, or directly to Spaceport Cornwall who can share the facility with multiple operators. The new facility will support the UK Space Agency’s decision to pick Newquay for horizontal satellite launches. This will help to create new rental revenue and generate additional business rates income for the LEP Enterprise Zone that will be used for reinvestment and growth.
Truro and Penwith North and East Cornwall STEM Skills Centre
Truro & Penwith College is applying for capital investment to develop a specialist STEM Skills Centre on land adjacent to the Callywith Campus. The Skills Centre will offer Ofsted Outstanding and industry-relevant provision in Health Sciences, Digital, Engineering and Manufacturing from Levels 2 to 5 for post compulsory and adult learners, including T-Levels. This will be located in a traditional ‘cold spot’ for educational infrastructure and participation and will help to enhance human capital in North and East Cornwall, generating ‘clean and inclusive’ economic growth.
Lithium Recovery Plant
Cornish Lithium and Geothermal Engineering are teaming up to build a zero carbon, lithium extraction pilot plant at an existing site in Cornwall. The aim is to demonstrate that lithium can be produced from geothermal brine with no carbon footprint. This work is of vital importance to the Green / Battery led Economy in the UK, to energy / raw material security and to economic regeneration in Cornwall. If the project is successful, then the construction of larger facilities at a number of sites across Cornwall are planned.
Jeremy Wrathall, Founder and CEO of Cornish Lithium, said: “Cornish Lithium is delighted to be involved in this project alongside GEL given the potential to establish a new industry for Cornwall. The funding will significantly accelerate our work to demonstrate that lithium can be produced in a sustainable, zero-carbon, manner and will enable us to fast-track similar projects in other locations across Cornwall once the plant has been completed. We believe that Cornwall has the potential to become the “battery metals hub” for the UK, thus continuing a 4000 year history of metal production and industrial innovation.”
Dr Ryan Law, Managing Director of Geothermal Engineering Ltd, said: “We have made significant strides in establishing the UK’s first deep geothermal power plant in the UK. The possibility of developing future sites that include co-production of lithium extraction is very exciting and a great opportunity for both companies and Cornwall as a whole. We believe Cornwall’s untapped natural resources are significant, and are delighted to be partnering with Cornish Lithium to maximise the synergies between the two technologies in order to unlock this potential.”
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