Projects which will help to revitalise Penzance and neighbouring Newlyn will now begin after £18m of Government funding was secured.
The first tranche of Penzance Town Deal funding has been released by the Government to Cornwall Council and work will now get under way on the approved projects which it is hoped will strengthen the area’s economic growth, reports Cornwall Live.
The Government has released the first £18m of the £88.7m Town Deal funding to deliver regeneration plans, boost the economy, revitalise town centres and improve the connectivity of four Cornish Towns.
The Towns Fund is a £3.6 billion fund for towns across the UK to support local economic growth. The Towns Fund was announced in July 2019 and incorporated the £1.6 billion Stronger Towns Fund announced in March 2019. Penzance was one of 101 towns, and four in Cornwall, invited to bid for the Government’s £3.6 billion Town Deal Fund.
The funding focuses on urban regeneration, planning and land use, connectivity, skills and enterprise infrastructure. Cornwall Council is the lead authority for the Town Deals programme in Cornwall and supports the governance role of the Penzance Town Deal Board and the fund administration.
Seven core projects were approved by the Penzance Town Deal Board, with £21.5 million from the Towns Fund allocated for the area, and these projects have now been officially approved by the Government.
This includes a transport infrastructure scheme that will facilitate and support local ambition of creating a more sustainable and attractive town. The project proposes to transform travel in and around Penzance and create a fully sustainable network of safe and accessible walking, cycling and functional green and open urban spaces.
Penzance’s Town Deal’s transport elements relate to improved active travel connectivity and infrastructure, creation of gateways into the town centre for residents and visitors and to support the regeneration of Penzance and Newlyn to create economic growth.
Other projects lined up to benefit from this investment are:
The Gardeners House in Morrab Gardens
The project will involve the refurbishment of a currently dilapidated building in the heart of the Morrab Gardens to a high standard, combining modern and sustainable construction methods that respect of the history of this heritage building.
Connecting people, planet and place, the Gardeners House building will become a knowledge hub for the community, delivering activities that support wellbeing through engagement in horticulture, history and various courses.
Supporting the local ambition for the Promenade to become a vibrant zone for sports, events and leisure, the Waterfront project is aiming to create a new indoor sport and activity centre providing affordable access to the Olympic sports of Bouldering and Skateboarding for all.
As the only such facility in Cornwall, it would contribute to the further development of a year-round visitor economy, as well as offering a local amenity that encourages more active lives amongst local young people and families
The refurbishment and modernisation of the Penzance Harbour aims to boost the local marine and engineering sectors and support the long-term economic sustainability of the area by providing new and affordable space for businesses.
Penzance harbour being the key gateway to the popular Isles of Scillies, the project also seeks to capitalise on this asset and bring further economic benefits for the town. The regeneration will include enhancing the marine facilities for visiting vessels and creating a more attractive site for all to enjoy through alleviating the congestion caused by freight vehicles queuing on the roads.
The Market House Project seeks to redevelop the vacant portion of this iconic building to attract footfall and bring more vitality at the heart of Penzance town centre. The vision for this redevelopment includes hosting a food hall with street food kitchens on the ground floor, with the first floor transformed to house a bar and events space, whilst the lower ground floor will be a town hub and shared work-space.
Newlyn Harbour Marine Skills and Resource Centre
Situated in the heart of the ancient harbour, the new Marine Skills and Resource Centre will establish a centre of excellence for learning and development for the County. The project aims to support and future proof the local marine sector by recruiting, training and retaining new and current workforce locally. The new building will be the focal point that catalyses wider collaboration and activity among organisations and partners including fostering innovation, growth of the supply chain and attract further investment and economic benefit.
This project will provide grants to micro, small and medium sized businesses within the Penzance Town Deal area, including start up and scale up businesses. The Fund will support capital investments that help local businesses to grow and develop and that help to diversify the local economy and generate quality local employment opportunities and strong local supply chains. Grants will range in size from £2,500 to £250,000 and will need to be matched with funds from applicants (between 25-45% guide match). More details about the Fund will be issued closer to its anticipated launch in late 2022, so watch this space.
Martin Tucker, chair of the Penzance Town Deal Board, said: “This is very good news for Penzance and Newlyn and this level of capital funding will allow the various partners to deliver on some very exciting projects that will help to regenerate areas of the town and also bring opportunities for increased training and skills development in some sectors vital to the local economy. These projects will help to support the continued revitalisation of the high street and also create sustainable environments for the future.”
Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives, West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and a member of the Penzance Deal Board, added: “Now that the funding has been confirmed, we can get on with building a better future for Penzance and Newlyn – building on our existing industries, from fishing and marine engineering to tourism, our heritage and our potential. We’re building on the hard work of the Town Deal board, and everyone who has brought the projects this far, developing these ambitious projects to revitalise the town. Now the real building work can start.”
Councillor Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for economy, said: “With the first year of funding now in place, Penzance can now start to deliver on the projects that will make a difference to their communities. So much work has gone on behind the scenes to get to where we are today and confirmation that projects can now progress is testament to the commitment and vision of the Town Deal Boards. Cornwall Council will itself be delivering 11 ambitious projects across the four areas using Town Deal funding to improve connectivity, public spaces, housing and offer grants to businesses. I have no doubt that these investments will revitalise the town – and city – centres, improving life for residents and creating sustainable communities now and into the future.”