LEP to bid for share of £59m to progress Aerohub
Progress on 'shovel ready' development schemes in Cornwall could be fast-tracked if the Duchy's Local Enterprise Partnership is successful in a bidding to a £59 million government scheme.
The Department of Communities and Local Government has invited the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP to bid for a share of the pot, which aims to unlock key infrastructure projects.
The idea is to seek job creation and growth through progressing schemes that are ready to go.
The Cornwall LEP is being invited to bid on behalf of its Enterprise Zone, Aerohub @ Newquay Cornwall Airport which is seen as offering short term growth potential.
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With one of the longest runways in Europe and plenty of room for landside development, the Aerohub is seeking to become an aviation centre of excellence.
Its bid is likely to focus on developments that will help it to secure inward investment to realise its goal of having 750 jobs on the site by 2015.
This is likely to include a 90 acre Aerohub Business Park to the south of the airport, which needs investment in roads and services before it can be progressed, as well as hangars and other business space and an engineering and flight training centre of excellence to increase aviation-related skills.
The site is England's only entirely aerospace focused Enterprise Zone on an operational airport and is the largest single development site in the South West.
"This new fund is intended to bring forward infra-structure projects so that further development can take place more quickly," said Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
"This should help us to build on the success we have had so far and enable more investors to move to the site, sooner and ultimately create more high value jobs for Cornwall. In particular, we will be looking at the potential to accelerate the development of the Aerohub Business Park and associated transport links."
Miles Carden, Enterprise Zone manager for Cornwall Development Company, said: "Our Enterprise Zone has already attracted a high quality pipeline of investor enquiries, but this funding would allow infrastructure to be put in place to make the site 'oven ready' for businesses to move straight in. Put simply it will allow us to do much more much quicker."
Two investors have already relocated on the Enterprise Zone. Classic Air Force opens its doors next month, and Ainscough Wind Energy Services, who intend to expand into the Aerohub Business Park once it is developed.