Foster Hall as a key component of Superfast Park Bodmin
We believe that Foster Hall will play a vital role as the amenities centre – see below – of the St Lawrence’s site. St Lawrence’s – as Superfast Park Bodmin – will be the main focus of economic development in the area.
The overall objective of the Superfast Park project is to substantially raise the prosperity of Bodmin by creating 1,000 well-paid quality jobs. It will do this by:
- exploiting the massive opportunity offered by superfast broadband
- making effective use of Convergence funding
What is Convergence?
Convergence is the European economic regeneration programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that runs until 2013. The title Convergence relates to closing the gap between the average household income in the county and that in Europe. At present there is at least a 25% lag, which is why the county qualified for the programme. The solution is to create large numbers of jobs that are much higher paid than the current average. This is to be done by encouraging and helping businesses to create them.
As part of the Convergence project, superfast broadband is being introduced to Cornwall ahead of other areas of the country.
These days, businesses are increasingly reliant on broadband and the faster the better. Without superfast broadband it would be difficult for Cornish businesses to be competitive and almost impossible to attract major inward investment. With it, everything is possible.
The road to prosperity
Higher incomes lead to more spending power, which in turn means more revenue for shops and service providers, and thus more tax revenue for local authorities. The result is prosperity for all.
Superfast Park Bodmin
For background on the St Lawrence’s site, please refer to the History section, which describes the development of the site as the main psychiatric hospital for this region.
The Foster Hall Revival Trust (see About Us) is proposing a unique economic development project, designed specifically for the ancient town of Bodmin. For a history of the town see the Local Histories site.
The objective of the project is to develop the St Lawrence’s site to fully exploit superfast broadband and create an environment that will attract major inward investment.
The site will need:
- to be an attractive place to work and live
- offices designed for large private-sector users of broadband
- facilities for the public sector and social enterprise that are fit for the future
- houses and flats designed for employees and their families
- amenities for all – restaurant, cafe, convenience store, venues, etc. This is the key role for Foster Hall
- to focus on sustainability and conservation
The St Lawrence’s site will need to feature state-of-the-art facilities, suitable for:
- a future Cornwall Council hub
- the headquarters of the Cornwall NHS Foundation Trust
- social enterprise organisations
- education, such as CUC and Bodmin College
The St Lawrence’s site will be driven economically by attracting inward investment from the private sector. Possible industries include:
- food, building on existing strengths and expanding in technology and design areas
- aerospace, a strong UK industry with a high design content. A major broadband user
Supplier and supporting role jobs will be generated:
- investors will require admin staff as well as design engineers
- restaurants and shops will require staff
- trades businesses will require additional staff
- the entire community will benefit
Urgent action required:
- some Convergence money is still available but not for long as it is being allocated to other projects
- superfast broadband will offer a window of opportunity lasting just a few years before the rest of the country catches up with Cornwall
Project to be planned based on research:
- brainstorm to identify possible investors
- in-depth interviews with 100+ potential investor/employers from above
- use interviews to market Superfast Park Bodmin
To be assessed from research results:
- likelihood of success
- specific requirements of investors
St Lawrence’s is the best site for Superfast Park Bodmin. It already has:
- a park environment. With its elevated position, easy access and great views, it’s a good place to live
- foundations laid for a technology park. Investment so far: £6m-plus
- Carew House
- elements of existing distinctive architecture
- Foster Hall to provide amenities and venue
- some similarity to a university campus
- gain support from stakeholders, including the Superfast Cornwall project
- raise funding for research
- use top consultants
As part of the Convergence project, superfast broadband is being introduced to Cornwall ahead of other areas of the country...”