Treasury Minister Liz Truss helps launch new group fighting deprivation in West Cornwall

A new group which aims to investigate how best West Cornwall can bring prosperity to areas of deprivation through Government investment has got off to a flying staff by hosting the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss.

The Minister attended the inaugural meeting of the Jobs and Growth Group at St John’s Hall, Penzance last week, a meeting jointly organised by local MP Derek Thomas and Emily Kent, Cornwall Council’s Head of Economy, Skills and Culture.

The group comprises more than a dozen business, employment, council and education figures from across West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly who plan to pool their knowledge of individual towns and neighbourhoods to put together a convincing case for Government investment through its planned Shared Prosperity Fund.

After hearing about the challenges that West Cornwall has in attracting skilled and well-paid jobs to the area and some of the ideas that members of the group have to address the situation, the Minister requested further information about what tools and help the area needed to encourage growth.

Mr Thomas said he was delighted that Mrs Truss had included Penzance on her trip to Cornwall.

“The Jobs and Growth meeting was the only one of its kind that the Minister attended and I think everyone felt that she was genuinely engaged with the issues that were raised,” he said.

“All the members of the Jobs and Growth group are committed to working to ensure that the whole of West Cornwall prospers with rewarding educational and career opportunities and so it was great that Liz Truss was able to sit in and give a Government perspective at the start of this new initiative to improve the life prospects of those living in our most deprived communities.”

Emily Kent added: “As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, Cornwall Council is working to support partners in developing an inclusive approach to an economy, environment and society that works for everyone in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The connection of business and people within places is at the heart of this and close working with local areas will enable a compelling case to be put to Government for future investment.”