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121004 | Regeneration of our towns is well under way but we need to build on that momentum | This is Cornwall

As reported in The Cornishman/West Briton Thursday, October 04, 2012

Regeneration of our towns is well under way but we need to build on that momentum

Thursday, October 04, 2012

West Briton

AS the political parties convene for their annual conferences, it is a good opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved at the halfway stage of this Parliament.

At the last election, I made economic regeneration my number one priority locally and in the last two years have made ensuring that our towns get the crucial investment they need my main focus.

In Hayle I always argued that, if we were going to have another supermarket, we should put it right in the centre so that it brings life into the town rather than on the outskirts draining life away. Following the success in securing a government grant, work is already well under way on North Quay and we should now see work starting on South Quay next spring.

In Camborne I have always said that we should develop brownfield sites before greenfield sites and we need to attract new industries to create the jobs of the future. The new development at the former Holman site on Trevu Road is a good example of what can be achieved when people put their minds to it with regeneration that safeguards our heritage while creating new homes.

The £25 million new road scheme between Camborne and Pool will unlock the economic potential of the derelict mining land at Tuckingmill creating new jobs and business opportunities and I am hopeful that we will now also see South Crofty mine reopened.

Finally, I have always said that Redruth is at the heart of Cornish heritage. A quarter of all the six million people around the world with Cornish ancestry can trace their roots back to Redruth. So I am delighted that the council has now made the decision to locate the new Cornwall Archive project on the old brewery site. This project will reinvigorate the town centre, become a catalyst of regeneration elsewhere and it is estimated it will bring an extra £1.4 million a year to Redruth once established.

So, in the next two years, significant work should be under way in Camborne, Redruth and Hayle which will create jobs locally and I hope will start to transform the fortunes of this part of Cornwall but we must not be complacent and should use this fresh momentum to try to drive forward other changes.

In Redruth, we should press for something to be done to other difficult sites such as the old Avers' Garage site at the gateway to the town. In Camborne, we need to work to get one or two larger retailers to show interest to make it more of a shopping destination and in Hayle, plans are already afoot to develop a new project around East Quay to develop and support the fishing industry there.