Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Penzance business Facebook page created.

 A Facebook group named "pzbusiness" has been created to help disseminate information about the local economy. 
The following link should take you to Facebook page.  Just ask to join.


Lands End Airport re-opens with hard runways.

Lands End Airport re-opened today following the laying of two hard runways.  The project cost in the region of £2.6 million with 50% from the IOS Steamship Co and 50% from EU ERDF funds.  

The Airport had previously been blighted during the winter months with waterlogging of its grass strips resulting in flights having to be re-routed to Newquay.  With Newquay Airport poorly served by public transport ,the diversions caused travellers significant additional expense and inconvenience The closure of Lands End Airport for long periods also resulted in Penzance being eclipsed as far a IOS travel was concerned for months at a time during the winters of 2012 and 2013.  

See BBC news item here.
See Cornishman item here .

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Planning application for "The Range" at Long Rock

Questmap Ltd have submitted a planning application for a new building on the Questmap Business Park, Long Rock, to house "The Range" . The building will provide ~2787 sq metres of trading space , a 'garden centre'. and 172 parking spaces. The new store is estimated to create 120 new jobs. 

The planning application (PA14/05612) can be found on Cornwall Council's online planning register here:

The Questmap Business park site affected by the application is currently dominated by the rusting steel frame of a previous building on the site.

Minister's announcement about Dawlish railway options.

The Secretary of State for Transport has issued a statement to Parliament today on the options for improving the resiliance of rail services west of Exeter. No decision is due until the autumn. Follow the link for the Minister's statement and a further link to the Network Rail study.

Link to Minister's statement here

The options examined are:

Option 1 Base Case
Option 2 Strengthening the existing railway
Option 3 Alternative Route A - the former London & South Western Railway route from Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton
Option 4 Alternative Route B - constructing a modern double track railway on the alignment of the former Teign Valley branch line from Exeter to Newton Abbot
Option 5 Alternative Route C (C1 – C5) - five alternative direct routes would provide a new line between Exeter and Newton Abbot

Earlier and faster morning train from London planned from Dec 2014.

The Department for Transport has agreed to the first significant redesign of First Great Western's mainline timetable in Devon and Cornwall for over a decade, with earlier trains and extra capacity during the summer.

Looking just at Penzance, the first train from London Paddington leaves at 7.06 and currently arrives in Penzance at 12.43 (change at Newton Abbott). From Dec 2014 the train will be a through train arriving at approximately 12.03 ( 40 minutes earlier.)

There will also be increased capacity for summer travellers on the late morning (1039) service from Plymouth through Cornwall by using an eight carriage High Speed Train rather than a smaller local train.

The comparison in journey times between London - Newcastle and London - Penzance (both 300 miles) is dire; London – Newcastle fastest rail service is 2 hrs 47 mins (average ~3hrs 10 min) whereas for London-Penzance the fastest service is 5hrs 04 mins (average ~5 hrs 30 mins). The announcement does not solve the fundemental problem but is a welcome incremental improvement.

LEP business survey

The LEP has been conducting an online survey of businesses . It will take more than 5 minutes but most respondants will find some of the question highly relevent. To complete the survey follow the link:


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Cornwall Council and Penzance Town Council agree way ahead over Sainsbury's S106 funds.

Agreement has been reached between Penzance Town Council with Cornwall Council over how to administer the Sainsburys Section 106 funds which have effectively been in limbo since November 2013 when the new Sainsburys store opened. The agreement is subject to confirmation by Town Councillors at the full meeting on Monday 14 July 2014.

The new Board will comprise local Cornwall Councillors (5), Town councillors (2) and representatives from the business community (two from Penzance BID team and two from Penzance Chamber).

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Rail improvements and new Long Rock Railcare Centre Announced

Extract from Department for Transport Press Release 3 July 2014:

Cornwall will benefit from a multi-million pound package of rail improvements that will lift the local economy, create new jobs and provide faster train journeys, the Prime Minister announced today (3 July 2014).

The £146.6 million deal has tourism at its core. Passengers travelling by sleeper train into the county will be able to start their holiday relaxing in newly refurbished carriages.

The deal will ensure:
the interior of the Night Riviera Sleeper trains, which run between Penzance and London - one of only two sleeper services in the UK - will be completely overhauled
the Long Rock train maintenance site at Penzance will be expanded to maintain Cornwall’s sleeper trains, safeguarding jobs and creating new training opportunities
a major programme of signalling improvements will start five years earlier than planned, providing faster journeys between Penzance and Totnes and paving the way for the potential introduction of half-hourly services on the Cornish mainline.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Ensuring that we have first class infrastructure across Britain is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and provide a brighter future for hardworking people. This investment, which will boost the local economy and improve connectivity, is great news for Cornwall, the south-west and beyond.

The package includes £9 million of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), £29.6 million secured through Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), £103.5 million from Network Rail and £4.5 million from train operator First Great Western.

Read the full press release here: