The newly formed Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has identified Launceston as a potential site for a new Enterprise Zone (EZ). Enterprise Zones are areas of land which are targeted for new jobs and businesses by Government and local authorities.
Last week, Adam Paynter, Sasha Gillard-Loft and I (* see below) met with the new Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership Chris Pomfret and with Cornwall Council's Head of Economic Development Dr Sandra Rothwell to make the case for Launceston. We were delighted to get such a positive reception as we made the case for more well paid jobs and better infrastructure for our town.
The full LEP has since decided to carry out further work on Launceston and just two other areas. This will ensure that we are in a strong position to take advantage of the potential changes in legislation and work towards EZ status in the future.
We are, of course, disappointed not to be put forward by the LEP for Enterprise Zone status on this occasion after all the hard work put in to make our case. But we understand that the Newquay Airport bid has all the documentation ready and we wish them well in their pitch to Government.
We want to make sure that, the next time Cornwall is able to bid for an Enterprise Zone, Launceston is ready to go. We have the best road links with the rest of the UK, we are in the first tranches of next generation broadband and we are ideally placed for both coasts. But we also need better post-16 education provision and more skilled jobs. That is why we need the Enterprise Zone.
I have been told that of all the pitches that the new LEP Chair received, the bid from Launceston impressed him the most. It is only the fact that the legal work and other red tape has not been completed that held us back.
Such a glowing report bodes very well for our town and the three Liberal Democrat councillors will continue to do everything we can to bring more high paid jobs and better infrastructure to Launceston.
*As well as Sasha, Adam and myself, councillors Neil Burden and Phil Parsons were invited to the meeting but did not attend.