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Devolution to Cornwall

Cornwall is the first rural authority in the country to be offered a devolution deal, with the Prime Minister David Cameron travelling to Cornwall to support Communities Secretary of State Greg Clark with the signing of the formal Cornwall Devolution Deal agreement.

Cornwall Devolution Deal

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The Devolution Deal gives Cornwall greater powers over public sector funding and is the first stage of a longer journey towards delivering the full Case for Cornwall.

The Deal was officially signed by Leader of Cornwall Council John Pollard, the Chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership Chris Pomfret and Dr Iain Chorlton, Chair of NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, with Communities Secretary of State Greg Clark.

The Council is already working with partners to develop an integrated health and social care system, and deliver significant economic growth, with enhanced business support, greater access to employment and training opportunities, together with a much improved public transport network and more efficient use of public sector buildings.

Under the terms of the Deal, which is based on the proposals set out in the Case for Cornwall which were formally agreed by the full Council, Cornwall will have greater powers over areas of public spending which are currently controlled by London.

The Deal covers a range of key areas including:

  • Integrated health and social care
  • Transport
  • Employment and skills
  • EU funding
  • Business support
  • Energy
  • The public estate
  • Heritage and culture

Transcript of Cornwall Devolution animation.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board have agreed to publish an Impact Assessment of the Cornwall Deal in January 2019.

The report highlights how the Deal has resulted in better services for residents, more control over how money is spent, dedicated business support and an ambitious transport and energy agenda.

Read about Cornwall Devolution Deal news

Read about progress being made on delivering the eight themes agreed in the Devolution Deal in the Devolution newsletter

You can read more about each of the areas of the Devolution Deal in the sections below:

Integrated health and social care

The Government has also agreed to work with partners in Cornwall to transform health and social care services.  This will involve NHS Kernow, Cornwall Council, the Council of the Isles of Scilly, and other local partners working with NHS England and other local partners to develop a business plan to move progressively towards the integration of health and social care.

Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow are working together with local and national partners to improve health and social care services for Cornwall and Scilly.


These include the proposals for transport, which will see the Council become the first rural authority in the country to be given powers to franchise bus services. The Government has also agreed to devolve central funding on local transport. This will deliver around £50m to create an integrated public transport system with smart ticketing, and fares and timetables for combined travel between bus, rail and ferry services.

Employment and skills

The Government has also agreed to work with agencies in Cornwall on a number of proposals to improve employment and skills opportunities. These include reshaping training and learning provision, developing new apprenticeship opportunities and improving careers advice for young people.

Link to Collab Review undertaken in 2016 which sets out 6 key recomendations to assist with delivering this aspect of the Deal.

EU Funding

Other areas include an agreement on EU funding which will see Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly given Intermediate Body (IB) status.  This will mean decisions on allocating €603.7m of European funding to projects will now be made locally rather than at Westminster.

Business support

There is also an agreement to work with the Council and the LEP on integrating national and local business support services to make it easier for local businesses to find the support they need, and develop a devolved approach to business support from 2017.


The Government has also agreed to support Cornwall’s aim to create a low carbon Enterprise Zone and develop geothermal energy production, as well as working with partners to help address the current constraints on the national grid and to develop proposals to improve energy efficiency in homes. Cornwall is already taking steps towards a better energy future for its communities and residents with the Piclo trial.

The public estate

Work will also take place on joining together funding for flood defences from a range of partners, including the Environment Agency and South West Water and the South West regional flood committee, to provide a joint investment programme to improve coastal defences, and developing proposals to ensure that the most efficient use is made of public buildings and land.

Heritage and culture

The final area of agreement is heritage and culture, with the Government pledging support for the creation of a Cornish Heritage Environment Forum.

Following the formal signing of the agreement the Council is now working with its local partners and with civil servants in London to develop detailed plans to implement the proposals set out in the Cornwall Devolution Deal. 

The Cornwall Deal Monitoring Board oversees the implementation of the Cornwall Devolution Deal.

Read the Cornwall Devolution Deal Monitoring Board meeting agendas and notes.