Cornwall Council hands over Coronation Park to be managed by local community

Exciting plans to preserve and improve Coronation Park, one of Cornwall’s most historic public parks, have been finalised between Cornwall Council and community group South Kerrier Alliance (SKA).

In a ground-breaking agreement, SKA will take on a 99-year lease of the park from Cornwall Council with the Council contributing £109,000 towards capital works improvements.

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SKA will also be supported by funding from the Helston Downsland Charity and grant monies of £81,447 from West Cornwall Local Action Group through the LEADER programme. With additional money pledged directly by SKA, this will create a £300,000 investment fund for the Park.

The £300,000 will be spent on improving the boating lake, paths, play park and general repairs as well as making a significant contribution towards a new skate park. Additional funds will be needed to fully replace the Park’s skate equipment but the SKA team is confident that with help from the community a new skate park could be up and running before the end of 2018.

The handover is part of Cornwall Council’s commitment to localism and devolution. Devolving property and services currently held by Cornwall Council gives our local communities the opportunity to shape their areas, make the improvements that sometimes only local knowledge can provide and respond to the demand for local facilities, led by the communities they serve.

David Turnbull, Director of SKA said: “As a not-for-profit community group, the capital promised by Cornwall Council has provided essential match funding, allowing us to apply for additional grants.

We’ve also had wonderful assistance from the Helston Downsland Charity who have supported the project throughout its planning stages and committed £52,000 of funding.”

Councillor for Porthleven and Helston West, Andrew Wallis said: "Coronation Park is not only important to the people of Helston, but also the wider community who have long enjoyed it. It’s a beautiful space recognised as a real haven for families. The Park is the perfect place to relax, walk, row a boat, skateboard or simply eat ice-cream.“

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods said: “We’re delighted that this community group has finally secured the powers and investment to run the park. This news comes following a lengthy period of detailed talks and preparations between the Council and South Kerrier Alliance. The project is also a strong example of local devolution in practise – which means it’ll be run by the local community for the local community.”

SKA plan to manage the Park as a non-profit community project with income from the car park, café and cycle hire leases covering the day to day overheads.

“Our plan is to employ a Park Keeper and Apprentice based in the Park, working as part of our team in The Old Cattle Market to look after this beautiful place” said Sarah Vine, Business Manager for SKA. “However, we wouldn’t have been confident to take on such a project without the guarantee of capital funding to address the current issues”.

Speaking on behalf of Helston Downsland Charity, Tim Grattan-Kane said: “This project shows what can be achieved when Cornwall Council, the Downsland Charity and Community Groups work together. It’s a real boost for Helston and will ensure this much-loved amenity is maintained for future generations.”

Further details will be posted on the Coronation Park Helston Facebook page.

 Posted on 15 May