Falmouth Town Council celebrates transfer of Dracaena Park

The Dracaena Park in Falmouth has officially transferred ownership from Cornwall Council to Falmouth Town Council, securing the future of the community centre and surrounding sports pitches.

Sitting in the park is the Dracaena Centre which an independent charity run by a board of trustees. The sports pitches surrounding the Centre have been transferred to the town council’s ownership under Cornwall Council’s ‘localism and devolution’ scheme, for the benefit of local residents. Also transferred is the ground lease the Dracaena Centre has with the local authority. The Dracaena Centre delivers a range of sports, leisure, well-being, education and youth services working in partnership with Falmouth Town Council as well as over 40 local clubs and providers. 

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Falmouth Town Council took over the grounds maintenance for the site last April in anticipation of the transfer, in which time both the playing surfaces and surrounding areas have been considerably improved.

The devolution of the park will allow the local council to make decisions on a local level and attract funding for regeneration and future improvements which will include an outdoor fitness area that will have a Parkour setup, street fitness centre and eight items of the latest variable resistance gym equipment; a toddlers play area and in the longer term a new concrete skate park.

Falmouth Town Council has already worked in partnership with the Dracaena Centre to devolve youth services and this transfer will further enhance those partnership links.

Richard May, Dracaena Centre Charity Manager, said: “The Dracaena Centre is delighted that Falmouth Town Council have had Dracaena Park transferred to local ownership. We have an excellent working relationship with the Council and look forward to being involved with many collaborative projects. There is a very positive feeling locally regarding the proposed plans for the redevelopment of Dracaena Park and the Dracaena Centre is keen to play a big part and to help drive these plans forward.”

Grenville Chappel, Falmouth Town Mayor, said: “I am very pleased to see this site transfer to local management. It is one of a number of community assets and services that the Town Council have taken on. The Dracaena site is one that residents and users told us needed improvement and the local management of the site will see the Town Council do that effectively and reactively. We will work with residents to put together applications for external funding to provide enhanced facilities.

It also provides further opportunities to work with our Community Partner the excellent Dracaena Centre, who already provide youth services in partnership with my Council, as part of the wide range of community provision delivered by them.”

Jeremy Rowe, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Localism, said: “Falmouth Town Council has a strong track record of working with Cornwall Council to deliver frontline services. When they approached us with a plan to take over the Dracaena Park, we were keen to be able to help them realise their local ambition. Falmouth Town Council’s proactive approach to take more control over their assets is a great example of devolution in action. Devolution at its most worthwhile is about finding the best long term local custodians of an asset, in this case an community centre that is greatly valued. I applaud their innovative approach to working with the Council and other partners to provide an excellent service to their community.”

Cornwall Council is working with Town and Parish Councils and community groups across Cornwall on a comprehensive and ambitious programme of devolution packages. 

 

Story posted 17 March 2017