In order to raise standards of living and wages in Cornwall we need to attract new industries and better paid jobs. The Superfast Cornwall programme has been very successful in getting homes and businesses connected to fibre optic broadband and when the programme ends in 2015, it will have connected 95% of premises in the county.
Improving connectivity is a great way of attracting new businesses to the area and we are now beginning to feel the benefits. I recently visited the Barncoose Gateway Centre where they have opened a new office block with space for twenty companies. Once occupied there will be 500 skilled jobs on offer and already NetBooster have chosen to base their European headquarters there. Elsewhere, the innovation centres at Pool and Tremough play an important role in incubating new start-ups, with Tremough specialising in digital media and green technology.
These are all positive steps forward. However to build on this, we also need to take advantage of our industrial heritage and wave resources. In Redruth, Severn Subsea is a world leader in the development of equipment for the oil and gas industry while in Hayle, Wave Hub has harnessed the powerful Atlantic swell to create the first commercial test facility for wave power in the world. We need to encourage more of this kind of innovation to attract new opportunities to the area.