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Technology hub is backed but Wadebridge Town Council split over logo use

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 23, 2014

SMART VISION: An artist's impression of how the new Smart Innovation Hub will look.

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A NEW multimillion-pound technology and design business centre in Wadebridge has failed to receive the full backing of town councillors after some members voted against supporting it with the use of the council crest.

The town is in line to receive a £10 million EU funding investment for the proposed Smart Innovation Hub.

This is seen by many as an exciting new concept, bringing together new businesses in developing fields and providing growth and employment opportunities in the area with high-calibre jobs.

At a meeting last week, the town council narrowly voted in favour of using its logo on a scoping document about the project.

But Wadebridge mayor Tony Rush and three other councillors voted against it.

The centre, which is planned to be sited beside the river on the opposite bank to the Camel Trail, would house technology and design businesses, as well as performance and educational facilities.

It would be a collaboration between the town of Wadebridge and Falmouth University.

Mr Rush says he is backing the proposals but is concerned about allowing the town council logo to be used on the document.

"I'm certainly for it as it would help employment and investment in the town, but my only worry is, if we put our logo on the paperwork, we may be pre-empting planning decisions," Mr Rush said.

"At the moment, this is only an idea and the plans haven't yet been drawn up.

"If we attach our logo to it now this may affect our ability to make a planning decision at a later date."

In December, a team from the town, including Mr Rush, members of Wadebridge Chamber of Commerce, The Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) and Stephen Knightley, the Cornwall councillor for Wadebridge East, travelled to Falmouth to discuss the proposed centre with representatives of the university's Academy of Innovation and Research (AIR).

Mr Knightley believes the town council should be looking to support any potential scheme that could generate highly-skilled jobs in the town.

"The whole area is under consideration in the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) and needs to be co-ordinated, which is happening," he said.

"The town council, which is deeply involved with the NP and whose chairman is the mayor, should be looking to support any potential scheme that could generate highly-skilled jobs in the town. One would seriously hope the scheme will have their support, at least as a feasibility study.

"There will be a new mayor in May and I think the focus of seeking support should be concentrated on the incoming mayor who may be more inclined to support the scheme."

Mr Knightley said the next step will see landowners and stakeholders meeting to discuss the idea.

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  • Plautus  |  February 25 2014, 8:54AM

    Why are these subsidy grabbers allowed to despoil the banks of the Camel? These snake-oil salesmen should be redirected to the underused Beacon Technology Park at Bodmin.

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  • wringer  |  February 23 2014, 11:29PM

    First they need to take a visit to Heartlands to see just how it shouldn't be done. far too much money will be spent on the design and architecture of the building and not enough on making sure it can wash its own face as a business. people think all they need to do is call it a hub and they can instantly waste money on the façade. red hat, no knickers springs to mind when I see projects like this. £10Million and how much is that per grant pound for job created then?

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