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electricity pylon in Cornwall by the sea at sunset

Cornwall: a leader in the UK’s journey to net zero

Cornwall is widely known as a visitor destination, with miles of coastline and green open spaces, but it’s these natural assets that have led the region to assert itself as a leader in the UK’s journey to net zero, and take on a new identity.

Cornwall’s natural capital provides a wealth of resources capable of powering the UK’s green industrial revolution. The region’s rich heritage and experience working the land and sea has led to world-leading expertise relevant to many of today’s new global industries.

From critical minerals to biofuels, and floating offshore wind to geothermal, Cornwall offers the UK a robust domestic supply chain of raw materials and clean energy to fulfil its net zero ambitions. There are few other locations in the world – let alone the UK, where so many investment opportunities exist in one place.

Since 2009, Cornwall has increased the quantity of electricity it generates, from 90mw to over 800mw. Around 40% of the region’s electricity comes from renewable sources, and this figure is set to rise significantly with the onset of floating offshore wind projects.

In many ways, Cornwall has taken on a new identity: awareness of and responsiveness to the global climate crisis is deeply embedded in its culture.

The landscape and culture in Cornwall have attracted purpose-driven companies, and many have relocated or set up a second office in the region.

Cornwall has more B Corps than any other region outside of London, and is leading on events like Anthropy and GoodFest that demonstrate the breadth of its capabilities and understanding in bringing the green agenda into every organisation, regardless of sector.

Once a mecca for companies dreaming of a surf at lunchtime, Cornwall is now a hub for green innovation and the Triple Bottom Line of profit, people and planet.

London-based Brand Activism Agency, Don’t Cry Wolf, set up a second office in Cornwall in 2021. CEO and Founder John Brown told Cornwall Trade and Investment:

“Cornwall is a thriving hub of sustainable development. I think it’s one of the most incredible counties in the UK for actually focusing on this net zero target, and investment in that is extraordinary.”

The region’s universities – Plymouth, Falmouth and Exeter, and colleges – Truro & Penwith, and Cornwall College have responded to the region’s growing authority on climate change and capabilities in combatting it, with innovative research projects and new, trailblazing courses.

Ground-breaking pilot projects spearheaded by SMEs have been embraced and funded by Cornwall Council on its own farm estate. Projects include geothermal electricity generation, and biomethane capture from its dairy farms – used to fuel some of its vehicle fleet, as well as generate on site green electricity.

In 2019, Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency and launched a Climate Change Action Plan. This has informed all its policies and projects since, including the criteria for Shared Prosperity Fund applications – part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

In 2021, it was hailed the nation’s leading local authority in tackling the climate crisis, in the MJ Local Government Achievement Awards. The award has led to the sharing of expertise with local authorities across the country.

Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and climate change said of the award:

“It’s a shining example of how we are gaining national recognition amongst local authorities across the country for our pioneering work in lowering carbon emissions and engaging our residents and partners in the fight against global warming.”

One of the Climate Change Action Plan’s key projects, the Forest for Cornwall, aims to ensure tree planting across 8,000 hectares – equivalent to up to 15,000 football pitches – this includes everything from planting woodlands to individual trees in gardens.

The council has also initiated a reduced bus fares pilot to make it cheaper for residents and visitors to swap car for bus, and has invested in pay as you go electric ‘Beryl’ bikes in six of its towns.  

With the adoption of a Climate Emergency Development Plan Document, Cornwall Council can better control how the region grows and changes, addressing the impacts of climate change with flexible policies that can respond to changes in technology.

The next 10 years will see transformative projects realised, and the power of Cornwall contributing significantly to the UK’s net zero target.

Join us for a behind-the-Scenes look at making the Netflix documentary, A Plastic Ocean

During Jo’s 8-year journey to produce the multi-award-winning film, Jo travelled to the centres of 3 oceans and to 20 locations around the world, meeting those affected by the crisis that plastic waste is doing to our ocean. She witnessed the devastating effects on marine wildlife and met people on remote islands who are drowning in the stuff and facing a relentless tide of plastic on their shores. We’ll hear about the science behind the problem as well as the incredible new developments that are starting to bring hope to tackle this issue once and for all. Jo will also give a sneaky insight into the new film project that is just beginning its pre-production phase.

jo ruxton event

Who is Jo Ruxton?

Jo started the first marine programme for WWF in Hong Kong being a key advocate for the establishment of the first marine parks there. She was a Producer and the BBC Natural History Unit and a lead member of the BBC’s diving team, producing and directing underwater sequences since the first days of filming on Blue Planet.

Disappointed in the lack of conservation messages in BBC films, she left in 2008 to work independently to focus on plastic in the ocean, she produced, A Plastic Ocean, the award-winning Netflix documentary. She founded the charity, Ocean Generation, to continue the legacy of the film through education and outreach programmes which are now expanding to address wider ocean issues.

Plastic polution

Before the event canapes will be provided by Paul Ainsworth | Chef Paul Ainsworth invites you to have a taste of Cornwall. We are delighted to invite you to sample some of the flavours of the Mariners Public House in Rock. Our beautiful iconic pub on the edge of the Camel Estuary. Before the evenings screening we will be offering two of our favourite dishes,

• Fried buttermilk chicken, garam masala, chipotle mayonnaise, jalepeño

• Fish & chips, line-caught cod, triple-cooked Yukon Gold chips, tartare sauce

These will be served alongside a selection of stunning wines, beers and spirits all from Cornwall.

Paul Ainsworth

WHEN: Thu, 10 June 2021: 19:00 – 22:30 BST

WHERE: Fox Building, Falmouth University, Wood Land Campus, Wood Lane, Falmouth, TR11 4RH

SIGN UP: Please sign up through Eventbrite here.

Please note parking spaces in Falmouth and close to the event may be limited.

IMPORTANT NOTICE The venue has a maximum capacity of 50 attendees. Strict social distancing will be maintained during the event in line with Covid restrictions. You will be required the wear a face covering during the screening, unless exempt for medical reasons

Marine-i has called on businesses in Cornwall to seize the opportunity offered by a new Government funding scheme that will support the development of innovative floating offshore wind technologies. Marine-i has also offered practical support to these businesses, by providing access to world-class testing facilities and assisting in the formation of new collaborations between companies.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.

Wind turbine
Image by Principle Power Inc

The Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme is a new funding call which has been announced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It reflects the UK Government’s target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030.

Floating offshore wind (FLOW) is a fast growing industry worldwide. It enables wind turbines to operate in deeper seas, where the winds are stronger. The Celtic Sea has been identified as one of the best potential sites in Europe.

BEIS is making up to £17.5 million of funding available for this programme. The aim is to deliver  multiple demonstration projects, which will take place until end of March 2024, and will cover a range of FLOW technology challenges. These include mooring and anchoring, dynamic cables, and floaters and foundations.

Prof Lars Johanning, Programme Director for Marine-i, says: “This is an excellent initiative and local marine tech businesses should take full advantage of it. The Marine-i team will offer any assistance they can to these companies in preparing their bids.”

“Through the Marine-i project, they can also get access to over 20 world class offshore renewables test facilities, backed up by leading-edge research expertise from the University of Exeter and University of Plymouth. These technology challenges for FLOW may well require a number of businesses to work in collaboration in their delivery. Marine-i is prepared to use its experience in this area to help facilitate the forming of these new consortia.”

“Floating offshore wind is poised to be a huge opportunity for Cornwall and the South West. I would urge businesses to start formulating their bids as soon as possible, ahead of the closing date for applications of 18th June 2021.”

Expert support from Marine-i is helping 3D printing specialist J-Supplied to develop large scale technology to produce bespoke parts for the floating offshore wind industry, such as custom-designed turbine blades. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i  aims to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.

From its base in Cornwall, J-Supplied has established a strong reputation as a provider of 3D printing machines and manufacturer of 3D-printed products. The emergence of floating offshore wind  as a major strategic growth area for the marine tech industry in south west England has prompted the company to diversify into this area, as their Managing Director, Martin Jewell, explains:

“The ability to print large scale, low volume products is currently restricted by the commercially available equipment on the market. Typically, these can only manufacture products up to a 3m x 1m footprint. We identified the offshore renewable energy sector as the focus for a major innovation project to address this issue. Our vision is to have ‘warehouse size’ gantries that would enable a 5 axis robotic 3D Printer to produce very large products, such as turbine blades. This would break completely new ground for our industry.”

Wind Turbine Cornwall

Marine-i, is providing a comprehensive package of RD&I support which includes market analysis by Marine-i partner, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, highlighting the most important commercial opportunities for the technology in floating offshore wind, and bespoke research by the University of Plymouth Digital Fabrication Laboratory, to develop processes to optimise this new technology.      

Professor Lars Johanning of University of Exeter, lead partner for Marine-i, says: “J-Supplied should be applauded for the scale and ambition of their thinking. As well as being a major commercial opportunity for their business, this new process would have huge benefits for the global floating offshore wind industry.”  

On 10th February, a special online workshop will be taking place, examining how 3D printing may be used in the production of wind turbine blades. There will be an opportunity to hear from leading experts  and to help shape a future transnational innovative project in this field. Delegates can register for this free event by visiting: www.marine-i.co.uk/events   

Cornwall’s manufacturing, engineering and technology clusters are rapidly expanding across the region, and it’s thanks to innovative new workspaces like the Enterprise Space for Advanced Engineering (ESAM).

As the first phase of the new Carluddon Technology Park in St Austell, ESAM is a space designed to encourage innovation in manufacturing, engineering, and low carbon environmental goods and services, and support collaboration between organisations operating in those industries.

But, the space is being used for far more than its name suggests. While it’s designed with engineering-focused sectors in mind, it’s an adaptable workspace for any type of business – whether you’re a timepiece repairer or a large-scale branding and merchandise firm.

Renewed innovation on historic land

With 32 high-quality and adaptable business units – including offices, workshops, light industrial units, and hot desking facilities – ESAM’s workspaces can be flexed to your businesses needs.

ESAM’s management designed the building as a space to explore ideas, test products, and bring concepts to life. Its shared areas, breakout spaces, bookable meeting rooms and audio-visual conferencing facilities make it an ideal space for collaboration between teams, while it’s affordable hot desking provides options for ambitious entrepreneurs.

And for businesses looking to develop prototypes and establish small-scale manufacturing productions, ESAM’s industrial units are an ideal fit. The building’s site even has opportunity for businesses to expand their operations and build external units as they grow.

The facilities and support to accelerate growth

It’s not just the workspaces that makes ESAM such a compelling option for businesses – it also has all the key facilities and services business leaders need to succeed. With on-site car parking and electric vehicle charging for occupiers and visitors, superfast fibre broadband, and secure 24-hour access, the building has everything you’d expect from a modern workspace. And being conveniently located next to the A3/A391, it remains connected to the rest of the region and beyond.

The workspace also hosts dedicated support services set up to help businesses thrive at ESAM. The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub has an on-site office to help occupiers at ESAM find funding opportunities, export to the rest of the U.K and Europe, and strategically grow their businesses.

And like all buildings funded by the European Regional Development Fund, ESAM is listed as excellent under BREEAM standards due to its natural air conditioning, solar power, and low-carbon energy ratings – so your business can ensure minimal environmental impact.

It’s not just a compelling place to work either. ESAM is at the heart of the West Carclaze Garden Village, an exciting new community built on top of a history china clay mining site. It will share the space with an eco-town of 5,000 homes, complete with two solar farms, key facilities like a community centre and a 420-place primary school, and more than 500 acres of green space.

St Austell Land

A scalable workspace solution for a global brand

ESAM has been the perfect place for branding and merchandising company Fluid Branding to expand its team. With offices spread across the world in London, Amsterdam, China, and other locations, ESAM offered an ideal opportunity to establish Fluid Branding’s Cornwall office.

The company’s 20% year-on-year growth meant it needed an easily scalable workspace option, with all the facilities it necessary for serving its global customer base. ESAM’s industrial workshops and office units made it a suitable place to host the company’s design, creative, sales, and tech teams all under one roof – and the business support on-site has been critical to Fluid’s continued success.

“We are delighted that we reaffirmed our commitment to Cornwall and the St Austell Area – where it all started for us – by investing in this important move to our new headquarters at ESAM,” says Miles Lovegrove, Managing Director of Fluid Branding . “We gained our B Corporation certification in 2019, so the building’s modern design, energy efficiency and eco credentials reflect our brand values.  It’s a fantastic landmark building in an inspirational location which has allowed us to grow, think and to really scale up our plans for 2021”

Explore ESAM for yourself

If you think your business could find success at ESAM, or if you’re just looking to find out more about the workspace, visit the website or get in touch with Choose Cornwall at info@choosecornwall.co.uk.

And if you’d like to explore more innovative workspaces in Cornwall, speak to our team today – we’d love to help you find your perfect location.


electricity pylon in Cornwall by the sea at sunset
Cornwall: a leader in the UK’s journey to net zero

Cornwall has miles of coastline and green open spaces and these natural assets have led the region to be a leader in the UK’s journey to net zero.

An evening with Jo Ruxton – Founder of Ocean Generation

Join us Thursday 10th June, 7pm, for a behind-the-Scenes look at making the Netflix documentary, A Plastic Ocean. With food provided by Michelin starred chef Paul Ainsworth.

Wind turbine
New funding scheme is a huge opportunity for businesses in Cornwall, says Marine-i

Marine-i has called on businesses in Cornwall to seize the opportunity offered by a new Government funding scheme that will support the development of innovative floating offshore wind technologies. Marine-i has also offered practical support to these businesses, by providing access to world-class testing facilities and assisting in the formation of new collaborations between companies. […]

Wind Turbine Cornwall
Marine-i supports pioneering 3D printing innovation for floating offshore wind

Expert support from Marine-i is helping 3D printing specialist J-Supplied to develop large scale technology to produce bespoke parts for the floating offshore wind industry, such as custom-designed turbine blades. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i  aims to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through […]

ESAM 1
Workspace spotlight: Enterprise Space for Advanced Engineering (ESAM)

Cornwall’s manufacturing, engineering and technology clusters are rapidly expanding across the region, and it’s thanks to innovative new workspaces like the Enterprise Space for Advanced Engineering (ESAM). As the first phase of the new Carluddon Technology Park in St Austell, ESAM is a space designed to encourage innovation in manufacturing, engineering, and low carbon environmental […]

Transforming Cities Fund Workplace Travel Grant Opportunity

Through the Transforming Cities Fund Workplace Travel Grants scheme funded by the Department for Transport, Plymouth City Council are offering match-funded capital grants of up to £25,000 per business in the Plymouth city region. This opportunity is for businesses within the Plymouth city region whose workforce commutes to and from Plymouth, or where the company […]

Feritech to open major new production facility in 2021

Feritech has announced that it is building a new, state of the art facility just outside Falmouth in Cornwall. Covering an area of 3.5 acres, the new site received planning approval this week. It will greatly increase Feritech‘s manufacturing capabilities and the services offered to both local customers and the company’s established global client base. […]

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