‘Boris is love bombing Cornwall’ - what G7 legacy funding really means

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, wearing a face mask, during a visit to the headquarters of the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Boris Johnson will be in Cornwall this week for the G7 summit.

Today Boris Johnson is effectively ‘love bombing’ Cornwall to show the G7 is not just about global politics, but will actually benefit the people living in the county?

There is a quiet worry in some corners of the Government that the G7 Summit will cause huge delays over the next few days for the people who live near Carbis Bay and there will be a number of road blocks.

That is why, as the Prime Minister arrives in Cornwall, he is talking first about the local benefits.

Police pictured in Carbis Bay ahead of the summit.

Announcing the £65million ‘legacy’ funding, Mr Johnson said: “As the eyes of the world look to Cornwall this week, not only will they see an area of outstanding beauty, they will witness a region that is innovative, exciting and looking firmly towards a bright future.

“The exciting projects we have announced are a fitting legacy for a region playing host to some of the most important diplomatic talks in a generation. 

The cash for St Ives, Penzance and Camborne was requested a few years ago as part of the Government's 'Towns Fund' initiative, so this is confirmation of the schemes that have been approved and how much cash.

But the areas knew they would be getting cash. 

The funding will be quoted by Conservatives as part of the 'levelling up' mantra of the Prime Minister.

Police officers patrol the railway track into Carbis Bay. Credit: PA

There is often concern among some in the Tory party in the South West that there is a sense the Government is spending big to keep the North of England happy and that our region could lose out as a result; today's announcement is an attempt to prove that is not the case.

A key theme of the summit will be climate change - so it is no surprise that part of today’s announcement is £705,000 from the Environment Secretary George Eustice for a long-term nature recovery legacy of the summit.

That essentially means towns and villages across Cornwall will get help to create a nature-rich landscape, which will include wetlands, meadows and coast through the county.

Once today is over, I imagine the Prime Minister will focus on international issues - starting with his first meeting with new US President Joe Biden.

President Biden and First Lady Biden are UK-bound for their first trip abroad since his election. Credit: AP

'A huge opportunity for Cornwall'

But today is all about Cornwall. 

Throughout the weekend, from the food world leaders will eat to the toiletries in their bathrooms, Cornish products will be everywhere. 

This is a huge opportunity for the county to show off to the world and today's announcements from the Prime Minister is a kind of thank you to the people of Cornwall.

There will be disruption for many over the next few days but local MPs and the Government promise it will be worth it, and they hope these announcements today will mean a long-term benefit for the people of Cornwall lasting long after the global spotlight moves away from the region next week.

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