Heartlands £1.5million new businesses scheme ditched
A scheme to bring new businesses to Heartlands in Pool has been ditched by Cornwall Council because of a lack of funds.
The authority had pledged £600,000 towards Phase 2 with an additional £900,000 European Regional Development Convergence funding.
However, the council said it was forced to drop the scheme because of demands for further money.
Sandra Rothwell, Cornwall Council’s head of economic development, said: “Heartlands Phase 2 was originally planned as a workspace scheme to provide ‘grow on’ space for start up businesses based at the Pool Innovation Centre as well as other similar centres nearby.
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“Changes in the criteria for European funding meant there would have been a requirement to find an additional £500,000 for the project which could not be found.”
She said that the council was now providing £310,000 towards five flats already completed at the Heartlands which will be occupied in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Housing.
Cornwall councillor, Mark Kaczmarek said he was disappointed by the decision but understood the huge financial pressures being placed on the authority.
He told the West Briton: “Heartlands is a stand alone site and a great community space that is well used by the public. However, anything that reduces the income to the site puts more pressure on its viability. Rental income from flats and businesses is vital. The annual running costs are huge.”
He said the site was not a “museum” but a space for people to use.
“It is a living working environment. The more people you can get living around the site it will become self policing, and it will bring more businesses.”
There are around 300 new houses planned for schemes between Heartlands and Trevenson Road by Linden Homes, and on the northern side of Trevenson Road by Persimmon next to the Pool Innovation Centre.