Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to invest in Cornish towns in an attempt to create a long-term legacy from the G7 Summit.

Johnson announced today that funding would be found that could be pumped into new investment in Cornwall's town centres and natural landscape.

The Town Deals announced for Penzance, St Ives and Camborne are worth over £65 million and will fund projects at the heart of communities in some of Cornwall’s most deprived areas.

The deals would include creating a new network of foot and cycle paths across Camborne, Penzance and from St Ives to St Erth. Community hubs including theatres, sports clubs and historic buildings will also be restored and expanded to ensure both residents and visitors can fully enjoy the cultural heritage of the region.

It has been said that other funding will go towards helping sustain businesses and commercial sectors most badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and to create new business hubs in the towns which will re-establish them as economic powerhouses and centres of innovation – creating long term, sustainable jobs.

As well as the Town Deals, the government claims it will be launching a new scheme to help restore Cornwall's natural environment.

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Biodiversity in Cornwall is declining in the area at a faster rate than the UK average and, over the last 30 years, the populations of almost half of breeding birds have declined and half of land mammals and almost two-thirds of butterflies are found in fewer places.

The Government's regeneration programme will apparently stretch across 21,000 hectares of land.

This nature recovery project involves planting trees, restoring peat, making improvements to water quality, recreating scarce habitats and reintroducing lost and declining species such as dormice and the marsh fritillary butterfly.

These plans will attempt to ensure the beauty and biodiversity of Cornwall’s landscape is safeguarded for future generations and will establish the region as a role model both across the UK and around the world when it comes to looking after the natural environment.

It is also hoped this restoration will provide a huge boost to Cornwall’s efforts to become the first net zero region in the UK.

Reforestation and the restoration of wetlands through the project will take an estimated 440,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

To help Cornwall reach net zero faster the Government has also announced a package of measures to help individuals and companies take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

This includes:

  • Up to £1 million of innovation funding earmarked for businesses in Cornwall to support their development of technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and energy storage.
  • Establishing Cornwall as a pilot area for a new e-bike support scheme – e-bikes are the only electric vehicles not to receive grants at present.
  • Subject to full business case approval Cornwall will also receive up to £150k to design and build ‘Kernosat’, a small satellite which will be used to monitor the local environment, with the potential for it to be launched from a UK spaceport next year.

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Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: "As the eyes of the world look to Cornwall this week, not only will they see an area of outstanding beauty, they will witness a region that is innovative, exciting and looking firmly towards a bright future.

"The exciting projects we have announced today are a fitting legacy for a region playing host to some of the most important diplomatic talks in a generation.

"As the world builds back better from coronavirus, Cornwall will lead the way."

Visit Cornwall estimates the total economic impact for the county of hosting the G7 Summit will be £50 million - £24m during the event itself, and over £26m from future growth in the international tourist market over the next five years.

Natural England Chair, Tony Juniper, said: "We are very pleased to announce this new G7 environmental legacy project in Cornwall.

"It will assist with Nature recovery through reconnecting habitats and ecosystems across the region, contributing to the conservation of rare species, carbon capture and improved water quality."