Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced a £10 million package to improve sea links between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, upgrade roads on the island and carry out ports repairs.
The new funding includes £7.3 million towards a £12.8 million scheme to improve harbour infrastructure at both St Mary’s and Penzance and £1.8 million to repair and resurface public roads on the island.
Patrick McLoughlin said: This funding will make a huge difference to the people of Scilly and also to visitors to the island, so vital to the local economy. Good transport links and high quality infrastructure are key for the island.
"These improvements will not only make it easier for those living on the islands to get about, but will also benefit those visiting the Scilly Isles, which is very important for the local economy.
The harbour scheme will see the pier extended and widened at St Mary’s, along with provision of new freight storage facilities and improved access for passengers. It also includes dredging and some highway improvements in Penzance.
The roads funding for the Council of the Isles of Scilly will fund resurfacing for the majority of the local road network on the island and is a one off payment and will be done at the same time as resurfacing of the island’s runway. Doing both at the same time while specialist equipment is on the island will save taxpayers a significant amount of money, sharing the cost of shipping a hot asphalt plant to the island between the 2 jobs.
The harbour infrastructure works are expected to begin this September and to be completed by June 2015, with the St Mary’s Quay extension to be complete by March 2015 ahead of the summer season. Works to maintain the local roads for which the council of the Isles of Scilly is responsible will take place over this summer.
During his visit to the south west, the Secretary of State also announced £1.7 million to fund repairs of harbours hammered by the harsh winter weather that hit the English coast at the end of 2013 and the beginning of this year. Most of the funding will be spent on fixing small ports and harbours in Devon and Cornwall.
The cash includes £434,786 to repair collapse of wall at Fisherman’s Quay in Porthleven, remove large granite blocks partially blocking the sluice and fix damage to the hospital corner wall, loss of capping to harbour head wall and undermining of slipway.
A further £66,391 to fix damaged caused by wooden baulks to Inner Harbour shifting, damaging roads, ladders and mooring chains.
Patrick McLoughlin said: Our small ports are vital to the livelihoods of the communities they serve and are the lifeblood of the local economy.
The government has already provided significant funding to reverse the damage caused by an exceptionally wet and windy winter. I want to see this additional money help the recovery in these coastal towns.
Mr McLoughlin also saw construction progress on the Redruth-Pool-Camborne Link Road currently underway. The government is contributing £16.1 million towards the £27 million scheme costs. This scheme when completed later this year will encourage the wider regeneration of the local area by providing a new east-west road to remove traffic from the A3047 and allow public transport improvements between Roskear and Barncoose.