CORNWALL'S new devolution deal, which will reportedly deliver greater autonomy over areas including green energy and adult education, has been signed.

Cllr Linda Taylor, Leader of Cornwall Council, met with Levelling Up Minister Jacob Young MP in Westminster to put pen to paper yesterday lunchtime.

The proposed Level 2 Deal was announced as part of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last month and debated at the Customer and Support Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee before being approved by Cabinet.

It has been negotiated following the decision earlier this year not to pursue a Level 3 Deal which required the introduction of a directly elected mayor for Cornwall.  

Like the proposed Level 3 Deal, the agreed Level 2 Deal has, according to the council, been developed with the Council’s priority outcomes at its heart and includes positive steps for Cornwall across three key areas:

  • Skills: The government will fully devolve the adult education budget from the academic year 2025/26, giving the Council control over how best to support adult learners, so we can make sure people have the right skills for the new industries developing in Cornwall, including those in the net zero economy and tech metals.
  • Green energy: The creation of a Cornwall Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) Commission to bring clean energy to the shores of Cornwall and elsewhere quicker.
  • Cornish culture: The deal means Cornwall Council will be able to attend meetings of the British-Irish Council alongside the UK Government as an advisor on matters relating to the Cornish language. It also includes a further £500,000 to support Cornish distinctiveness and the Cornish language.

Speaking after signing the Deal, Cllr Taylor said: “I am so pleased we have managed to get this Level 2 Deal over the line. It has been a long process, but through the negotiations succeeded in our aim of retaining some aspects of the Level 3 Deal published this time last year, and also managing to add to that proposed Deal.”

“This is the best possible outcome we could have achieved for Cornwall following the decision not to proceed with the Level 3 Deal due to the requirement for a directly elected mayor.”

"The centrepiece of the new deal is the devolution of the Adult Education Budget to the Council from the national Education and Skills Funding Agency, worth approximately £10m per year, and decisions about how that funding is allocated in Cornwall will now be taken in Cornwall.

"And for good measure, although it wasn’t in the Level 3 Deal, the Government’s Free Courses for Jobs funding, valued at £700k per annum, will also be devolved to the Council, enabling us to better shape local skills provision to ensure it meets the needs of the local economy.

"The skills we need to provide are in areas such as providing renewable energy, which have also been boosted through this deal in part by supporting the creation of a Floating Offshore Wind Commission, which will enable us to bring together all the stakeholders to make FLOW a reality in the Celtic Sea in the shortest time possible.

"There are just elements of a deal that will improve the lives of our residents, One and All.”