The Cornwall Brussels Office represents the interests of Cornwall in Brussels. The office is established jointly by Cornwall Council, the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and the Combined Universities in Cornwall. It seeks to help local stakeholders make the most out engagement in Europe and the new relationship between the UK and the EU.
The office provides a range of services to its stakeholders, including policy intelligence, assistance with European partnership building, advice and assistance on accessing research and development funding, advocacy on a range of matters of strategic importance to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and the promotion of business, culture and identity.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is an outward looking region with a trade surplus to the EU, a history of cooperation with European partners, and a shared Celtic heritage with regions across Europe. It has a long benefitted from cross-border cooperation with European counterparts on matters of mutual interest, including via participation in various EU funding programmes.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have long had strong ties with Europe. Our maritime location and our deep historical and cultural ties with European regions, including a shared language and trading relationship with members of the Celtic language family across Europe, have meant that we have always looked outward.
Today, that has resulted in an economy that exports more goods and services to continental Europe than it imports, a local authority that has developed deep strategic partnerships with its counterparts in Europe, and an academic sector that both draws in substantial numbers of students and researchers from continental Europe and works closely with institutions on the continent in furthering its cutting-edge research.
From our world-leading maritime and environmental research institutions, cutting-edge institutions of learning, traditional (tourism, agriculture, fishing and mining) and new (aerospace, information technology) industries, and our experience with regional, rural and fisheries development, climate change, and revival and protection of minority languages, we have much to offer Europe and the world.
As the United Kingdom moves towards a new relationship with Europe and re-arranges itself internally to adjust to its departure from the European Union, the Cornwall Brussels Office exists to ensure that Cornwall and Cornish interests can make the most out of these changes.
Cornwall Brussels Office represents the interests of Cornwall Council, Cornwall Local Enterprise Partnership and the Combined Universities in Cornwall through policy influence, intelligence and raising profile of Cornwall with stakeholders based in Brussels.
Ralph Bunche is the Head of the Cornwall Brussels Office representing the interests of the partnership in Europe. A lawyer by profession, Ralph has significant experience representing and advising national, local and city governments and representatives of national minorities on a range of legal matters and policy matters both inside and outside of the European Union.
Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) is a partnership of five universities and colleges - the Cornwall College Group, the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth and Truro and Penwith College - working together to give more people the chance to study in Cornwall, and to use university level education to help our businesses and communities to thrive.
Since its inception in 2000, CUC initiative has made a significant and substantial impact in developing and expanding the provision of local higher education opportunities, whilst delivering real economic and social benefits for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Over the past twenty years over £315 million has been secured and invested by CUC to facilitate and expedite significant progress in campus facilities and higher education opportunities.
The CUC partnership continues to work closely with key stakeholders to advance its core objectives of expanding and extending the provision of HE, promoting access and facilitating student progression, developing and increasing research facilities and capabilities and developing business support and incubation activities to contribute to the social and economic regeneration of Cornwall.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership was launched in May 2011. Private sector-led, it is a partnership between the private and public sectors and is driving the economic strategy for the area, determining local priorities and undertaking activities to drive growth and the creation of local jobs.
The LEP is business-driven and its board includes nine appointed representatives of the private sector in Cornwall, three nominated Cornwall Council representatives, one nominated representative from the Isles of Scilly Council and one nominated representative from the Combined Universities for Cornwall.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP is one of 38 LEPs across England set up via a new approach that puts businesses in the driving seat and empowers the private sector to determine their own priorities.
Cornwall Council is a unitary authority, created on 1st April 2009 by merging Cornwall County Council with the six Borough and District Councils of Cornwall - Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, North Cornwall, Restormel and Penwith. The Council has a revenue budget of over £1bn, with 123 local Councillors representing the 550,000 residents of Cornwall, delivering services to every community across the County.
Having a single Council gives Cornwall a strong and united voice when dealing with national government, regional agencies and partner organisations. This has meant that Cornwall was the first rural authority to agree a Devolution Deal with the Government. The Cornwall Devolution Deal outlines the powers that will be devolved to Cornwall for transport, energy, health and social care, and heritage.
The Council has a workforce of around 5,000 and is the biggest employer in Cornwall. It also has a diverse group of wholly owned companies providing infrastructure, engineering, housing, jobs, social care, facilities management, inward investment, transport and other essential services to Cornwall. Its Cabinet has committed to deliver on five key priorities: Healthy Cornwall; Homes for Cornwall; Green and Prosperous Cornwall; Connecting Cornwall; and Democratic Cornwall.