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Trail Stop No 12 - 2020s:
The G7 Summit in Carbis Bay

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in January 2021 that the summit meeting of the leaders of the G7 nations would take place at Carbis Bay between June 11th and 13th. In his announcement he said, “Two-hundred years ago Cornwall’s tin and copper mines were at the heart of the UK’s industrial revolution and this summer Cornwall will again be the nucleus of great global change and advancement.”


Leaders from 11 countries - G7 members the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA together with India, Australia and South Korea were in attendance together with a host of advisors, trade delegates, security personnel and the world's press.  International delegates stayed at the Tregenna Castle resort, protected by a 10 foot high “ring of steel” fence while the Carbis Bay Hotel and Estate served as the base for the summit and its operations.

Some 5000 police officers from 43 UK forces were drafted in to support 1500 of their Devon and Cornwall colleagues in managing security.

The event was a huge logistical challenge not only for organisers but also the local community. Whilst the eyes of the world were on St. Ives and Carbis Bay, a huge number of hotel, bed and breakfast and other accommodation needed to be booked out well in advance of the summit, with creative solutions being required such as housing 1000 police officers on a cruise ferry in Falmouth.  There were road blocks on all routes leading into and out of the town, restrictions on the use of the harbour and other parts of St. Ives Bay and many fewer tourists than normal as a result.

Nevertheless there was a special atmosphere over the 3 days of the summits, with many locals enjoying the engagement with the thousands of police officers lining the roads, looking out for the world's leaders as they made their way around the event and seeing naval warships in the bay, long motorcades of imposing black vehicles and giant helicopters thundering overhead. On the final evening of the summit the Red Arrows flew overhead in an impressive display.

The event was also marked by a large number of groups and activists seeking to pass on messages to the politicians and also to protest about issues such as climate change, pollution, poverty, the extension of police powers and racial injustice. Protests took various forms including marches, 'die-ins' and the construction of "Mount Recyclemore' with effigies of the leaders built out of technological waste.

The UK Government estimated the cost of the event at £90.7M of which £52.7M was for security. It noted that £28.7M had been provided to Cornwall including to the County Council, the police and local suppliers and businesses. A further  £2.16M has been provided for legacy projects throughout Cornwall. Under plans to develop a long term legacy from the G7 St. Ives was granted £19.9M of investment, which is being used to fund a range of projects managed as the St. Ives Town Deal. You can find out more about these projects here.

G7 Leaders on the beach at Carbis Bay

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'Mount Recyclemore' at Hayle

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H.M.S. Price of Wales dwarfs St. Ives Museum

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Definitely a limited edition pasty!

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