The Economic Development Unit is responsible for the development and delivery of projects and programmes that benefit local businesses, residents and economy of the Isles of Scilly.
We work with the local business community and residents to bring forward viable propositions that will improve the economic output of the Islands by reducing barriers to employment and the workplace, by raising the value of existing products, by developing opportunities to diversify the business base and by delivering skilled and well paid employment opportunities. It also includes developing the skills and training that compliment the islands businesses and providing access to business support mechanisms and Higher and Further Education resources that can improve business performance.
Maintaining the economy of the islands is imperative to the long term sustainability of the community. Well paid jobs, career prospects and an atmosphere of entrepreneurism are all necessary to retain a balanced and viable population, as are the provision of affordable housing and community facilities that are both accessible and wide ranging. Of equal importance is the protection and preservation of the outstanding natural environment that is both the basis of our economy and the rationale behind the choice of many to live and work in our community. The work of the Economic Development Department integrates the principles of economy, environment, community, sustainability and equality of opportunity in all of its actions.
Over the past four years the Economic Development unit has been working on a number of ERDF Convergence Funded projects including the Porthcressa Regeneration Scheme, the St Agnes Island Hall Project, the St Mary’s Quay Project, Airport Projects at both Lands End and St Mary’s, Porthmellon Innovation Centre Project and the Porthloo Slip Project.
Porthcressa completed in Spring 2013, works have commenced on the delivery of the airport projects, the St Agnes Island Hall, Porthloo Slip is currently being delivered by the Duchy of Cornwall and works will start on site for the Wholesalers project in Spring/Summer 2014. The Council, and in particular the Economic Development unit, will continue to work with Cornwall Council to see through the delivery of the project to improve the quay and harbour at St Mary’s and Penzance respectively with a view to ensuring resilient transport links between the islands and the mainland.
Work is also underway on preparing for the new round of European Funding including provisions for a new LAG type programme which is anticipated to commence activities in 2015. Additionally, further investment opportunities through ERDF and other funding mechanisms will be pursued to ensure that the islands have the infrastructure and facilities necessary to facilitate growth and fulfill the aspirations of our community