Still hope for Penzance Harbour scheme

The MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Andrew George, has asked Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, to hold open the £8 million grant offer for Penzance Harbour for a little longer.

A letter last month from Cornwall Council’s former Leader, Cllr Alec Robertson, and its former Transport portfolio holder to the Minister told the Government that it was not prepared to take on the proposed £8 million development drawn up by the Penzance community, headed by the Town Council. Since the change of leader and portfolio holder, Mr George has asked the Transport Minister to hold open the funding offer in case Cornwall Council has a “change of heart” on the plans.

Mr George said, “When the Minister offered funding for infrastructure improvements at both St Mary’s and Penzance, I called on all “stakeholders” to come together in a “coalition of the willing”. We were, of course, all very disappointed when Cornwall Council said that it did not wish to take part in such an initiative, even though they are both the owners of the harbour and the principal transport authority.

“I have always called on those involved in this project to approach the matter in a calm and rational manner, but have been deeply disappointed at the unhelpful level of acrimony that has been generated by others.

“It was a significant disappointment to many, including myself, to see that such an ambitious and exciting plan for the improvement of the harbour and the relatively strings free offer of an £8 million investment grant for Penzance harbour was rejected by Cornwall Council in the manner that it was. If Cornwall Council were to have a change of heart at this stage, I hope that the whole community would come together to congratulate the Council and its new transport portfolio holder and Leader.

“It would be excellent news for the town and I believe it would kick-start renewed confidence and ambition for a further development and regeneration of the harbour and the town.

“I will then do my best to make sure that, in spite of the worrying delays caused, the Government will sustain its support and allow the project to be delivered.”

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