When Parliament closes for recess during August it provides an opportunity to pursue (with a bit more time and focus) ideas and initiatives that may otherwise be overlooked. I want to share one such area which may capture the imagination of readers who then decide to get involved!
Mounts Bay is one of our most beautiful natural assets and offers the potential as a lever for greater economic investment and return. Clearly Tom Cruise (with his luxury yacht moored in the Bay this week) finds the area a safe and attractive stop-off point!
Let me take you for a short walk…
If you were to head east to west St Michael’s Mount needs little introduction and remains an iconic island and testimony to our spiritual heritage (I’m deliberately overlooking those parts further east for the purpose of this particular narrative). The rail-link, including the new train care centre, can be utilised more to deliver access to skilled jobs and a reduced carbon footprint. The investment in the new trains and reduction in journey times (which can be further reduced) provides critical connectivity for West Cornwall and Scilly and should play a bigger part in our strategic thinking. The trains deliver passengers to the bus station connecting penwith and to the foot of Penzance Town which I’m told is the most recognised name of a town.
Continuing along the coastline you immediately arrive at Penzance Harbour, the Dry Dock and the base for businesses demanding particular skill sets such as engineering, hospitality, fishing and renewable energy. Don’t ignore the gold-painted post box as you pass which reminds us of our contribution to elite Olympic sport! On that note a quick mention of Helen Glover and Deborah Fleming who are in Japan making us proud.
Returning to Mounts Bay and heading west you hug the shoreline on the refurbished promenade passing the home of elite Cornish rugby and arriving in Newlyn to a possible surprise when you discover the significance of our arts and fishing compared to much of the UK. Both support large numbers of jobs and offer potential for more.
Continuing west takes you to Sandy Cove (the subject of plans for expansion in engineering jobs and other marine-related occupations) and Port Penlee with less emphasis on rock extraction and more on leisure pursuits.
Mousehole takes us to the end of this particular stroll along the coast but only to remind us of the need to find a balance between a successful tourism sector and the need for vibrant and connected communities.
This week I am joined by key people who are involved in many of the different aspects that give Mounts Bay its unique blend of natural environment, tourism and ‘industry’ to establish the need for a more strategic and mutually beneficial approach to this amazing section of our West Cornwall coastline.