Last week, I had the pleasure of formally opening Hayle’s first Harbour Festival. Hayle Harbour and Foundry Day is a celebration of local business, local talent, Hayle heritage and our community. The organisers deserve huge credit. There was great entertainment throughout the day, and it showed that Hayle really is on the up.
There has been an event in Foundry for several years, but this was the first year it has been broadened to cover the harbour. The day aimed to bring Hayle Harbour back to the forefront of the community, and to bring different businesses, charities and clubs together to show off what Hayle has to offer.
When I became an MP I said I wanted to see Hayle Harbour regenerated. It had been left derelict for too long and plans had been talked about all my life time. It was time for action. While a lot of work needed to go into planning something that local people could get behind, and we needed government grants to put infrastructure in place, like the new bridge into North quay, great progress has been made. As well as the new harbour walls, we now have a marine energy park on North Quay.
The next stage is to complete sensitive development at the end of South Quay, put in place the footbridge to link the quay to Penpol Terrace and get things moving on North Quay. There are now two new developers who have bought the harbour from the Dutch bank, ING, and I will be working with them to ensure we get the rest of the development right.
Hayle is going from strength to strength and there is a new confidence in the town but we have to see through what has been started.
On a less optimistic note, this week saw a reminder of the threat of flash floods in Cornwall. Homes, businesses and schools have been affected. We can't legislate for the weather but we can prepare. In the last parliament, the Government spent over £1.5 billion on investment in flood defences. During the current parliament we plan to invest an additional £2.3 billion, supporting around 1500 schemes that will help protect some 300,000 homes.