Cornwall has a lot to teach the country about seaside towns, says Lords Committee Chairman

Cornwall has a lot to teach the rest of the country about regenerating seaside towns and helping them thrive, according to the Chairman of a House of Lords Regenerating Seaside Towns Committee.

The good work being done in Cornwall’s seaside communities was highlighted during a visit by five members of the House of Lords Regenerating Seaside Towns Committee. The visit was part of their inquiry into the complex challenges faced by coastal communities.

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Committee Chairman Lord Bassam of Brighton said: “We’ve seen some powerful insights into what works in terms of regenerating seaside towns and villages.  Cornwall has a lot to teach the rest of the country.”

The cross-party group of peers visited Newquay to see the Nansledan housing development and to hear how the Newquay Safe Project, which tackles under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour, has helped transform the town.

They also visited St Ives to hear about neighbourhood planning, and Tate St Ives to see how art and culture can be a driver for change.  

On a visit to Jubilee Pool in Penzance, the peers saw how a successful community benefit society has worked with partners including Cornwall Council and the local community, to turn around the fortunes of the iconic landmark which was almost destroyed in the winter storms of 2014.

Martin Nixon, one of the directors of Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd, said: “I hope the select committee will take away with them the importance of the power of community involvement.  By establishing a community benefit society we have proven that the power of the people can really work. Through them we have managed to put together a business case which will safeguard this wonderful facility for the long term. The exciting plans for geothermal will contribute to the further regeneration of Penzance in a positive way.”

During their fact finding visit, peers met with senior representatives of Cornwall Council as well as local leaders in business, education, tourism, and culture. They also heard about the challenges of providing services in coastal communities from fire, police, waste collection, beach cleaning and parking services.

Councillor Bob Egerton, Cabinet portfolio holder for planning and economy at Cornwall Council said:  “There are some great initiatives to celebrate in Cornwall which show the success that can be achieved when the Council and communities work together to help our seaside towns and villages be vibrant and successful. 

“The success of Jubilee Pool in Penzance and how Newquay is transforming its image are good examples of where the local community, major agencies and national government have all worked together to overcome adversities and also seize opportunities.

“There are many challenges that our seaside towns and villages face such as seasonal and low paid work, the number of second homes and global issues like severe weather and climate change, but there are also opportunities varying from arts and culture to high-tech marine industries, from a growth in ‘foodie’ destinations to greater interest in active leisure, which we all need to highlight and address.”   

The project is receiving up to £1.4 m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

Story posted 08 November 2018