Former City minister Lord Paul Myners has called on Boris Johnson to fund a “Stadium for Cornwall” as part of his newly announced “New Deal” to restore the UK economy after coronavirus.
Lord Myners, who served as financial services minister under Gordon Brown, said the project would “epitomise the vision of an economic bounce-back based on build, build, build”.
In a letter to the prime minister, he asked for the government to commit £14m to the project in order to get construction started in October, saying that the south-west should be a central part of the government’s levelling up agenda.
“Cornwall is the second poorest area in the whole of Western Europe. Our economy has been very badly hit by Covid-19”, he wrote.
“Levelling up is not just about the North. Cornwall needs your help”.
Speaking in Dudley on Tuesday, Johnson pledged £5bn in accelerated infrastructure spending as part of a nationwide building campaign to improve neglected parts of the UK.
The promise to bring forward investment into schools, hospitals, and the UK’s road and rail network comes after the pandemic forced vast swathes of the country’s economy to shut down for the best part of three months.
There are currently no major sporting stadia in Cornwall. The new 10,000 seat development, which would be situated near county capital Truro, would serve as the home for Truro City FC and rugby side Cornish Pirates.
Lord Myners said the stadium would create 400 to 500 new jobs, as well as bringing in £8m to £10m every year to the local community.
With over £9m in private funding already secured, Lord Myners said that the project could be completed by the end of 2022 if work gets underway in the autumn.
“We have private sector backing and powerful partnership that draws together Cornwall’s best. Government can be the catalyst that makes it happen”, he wrote.
“The stadium, which is in a highly visible position in the centre of the county, would be a beacon of confidence in a previously deprived and neglected community”.