Almost $4 million has been earmarked to support a project to transform infrastructure on the British Isles of Scilly and support local growth.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed in principle to invest up to $3.9 million in the Smart Islands program on the Isles of Scilly, which are located 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall in South West England.
Smart Islands is a partnership project designed to tackle the challenges of sustaining a remote island community by moving towards a low carbon economy. It is taking a fundamentally different and innovative approach to energy, water and waste services to pilot new models that will be scalable to other rural communities and cities across the world.
The LEP’s contribution would come from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, which is investing over $93 million through the ‘Growth Deal’ program to improve infrastructure and grow the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Because of its potential as a national exemplar project, Smart Islands has been singled out as one of just a handful of case studies nationwide to feature in the Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper.
The Smart Islands program aims to transform the islands’ infrastructure, including the creation of a local energy market with an ‘Internet of Things’ platform that will control energy loads in houses, businesses, electric vehicles and other connected infrastructure. Its goal is to provide 40 per cent of electricity demand using renewables, to cut electricity bills by 40 percent, and for 40 percent of vehicles on the islands to be electric or low-carbon – all by 2025.
It also aims to provide sewage treatment, waste disposal and energy from waste facilities to replace outdated and expensive systems which are burdening the islands with significant costs and hindering future growth ambitions.