Cornwall to receive £360m devolution deal from UK government

'Landmark' deal will give Cornwall greater say over transport budgets, building and other areas

Holywell Bay in Cornwall. National Trust
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The UK government is to sign a £360 million ($441 million) devolution deal with Cornwall.

The proposed deal will require local consent and parliamentary approval, and would give the county a locally elected mayor and a greater say over transport budgets, building and other areas.

The government is hailing the agreement as a landmark settlement for the south-west with Levelling-Up Minister Dehenna Davison visiting Cornwall on Friday to sign the deal.

The agreement builds on the 2015 devolution deal for the county, with the election for Cornwall Council’s new mayor taking place in May 2024 pending a local consultation.

Under the proposals, the council will work with London on housing, with £8.7 million provided for delivering more homes on brownfield land, as well as co-operation with the government on local policy for second homes.

The region will also receive £500,000 to improve transport planning, and funding for efforts to promote the Cornish language.

The harbour in Newquay, Cornwall, England, UK. Photo: Alamy

Also significant is the decision to fully devolve the adult education budget to Cornwall from 2025.

Ms Davison said that “for too long” Cornwall has “not received the levers it needs to level up and address the unique challenges it faces”.

“I am proud to sign the devolution agreement today and empower local leaders here who know best the issues that most affect the region," she said.

“I look forward to working with Cornwall to turbocharge levelling up, spread opportunity and unleash this great area’s full economic potential.”

Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council, called it a “big deal” for the county and urged the public to consider the proposals.

“The government has made it clear that the proposed deal is conditional on making our governance change," Ms Taylor said.

"I am appealing to one and all to carefully consider this huge opportunity for Cornwall to receive more funding, powers and influence, and have your say on the deal that will help shape Cornwall’s future when the consultation begins next week.”

Mark Duddridge, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said the devolution of the adult education budget would “enable more tailored support to be provided to thousands of Cornwall’s residents every year”.

Updated: December 02, 2022, 12:01 AM