Cornwall has a long history of leading, not just the UK, but the whole world, in business, commerce, innovation, food, drink and more. Recent times have created uncertainty in the Duchy and many are concerned about the future, but I genuinely believe that Cornwall has never been in a stronger position, not just to survive, but thrive in the 21st century.
It began with tin, copper and clay and now, in 2020, its lithium and geo-thermal energy that is making money from the very ground beneath us. Trevithick started the journey with the beam engine, now Cornwall is on the verge of having the world’s first horizontal launch Spaceport. There are technology companies all over the county innovating new products and services. We have a leading university, we have talent and we have infrastructure. Now all we need to do is make a small change in the way we live, work, do business and shop to make sure the Cornish economy is the envy of the UK and, indeed, the World.
I ask you to think every time you need a service, product, food or drink – ask yourself one question: can I get a Cornish version of this which is equal or better to one from out of county, and can I get it for a similar cost? If the answer is yes, then do it! However, if the answer is ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ then that’s where myself and my colleagues come in. Our job, our vision, is to make information and products readily accessible and at an affordable cost.
To that end, we are creating an online directory of Made in Cornwall services. Imagine building a house and everything involved – from the land agent, planner, architect, estate agent, lawyers, builders and tradesmen, right through to the cushions on your sofa and the food and drink in your fridge. Every single one of these will be in the directory, audited by Cornwall Council Trading Standards Department for peace of mind, offering the same services you may previously have gone out of county for. Keeping your spend in Cornwall means that the economy will become self-sustaining, businesses will thrive, the county will thrive and so will its people.
I believe that there’s no county in the UK that is better at inventing and innovating, accommodating and entertaining, and there’s certainly nowhere more beautiful or a better place to live and work.
Tony Goodman is General Manager of Made in Cornwall Enterprises CIC, an enhanced membership scheme led by Cornwall Chamber of Commerce.