Penzance Dad Wins Backing for New Road Crossing next to Queens Hotel

A Penzance dad’s campaign for a new crossing to the town’s promenade has won the backing of a Cornwall councillor and several Penzance town councillors.

Ben Sidgwick, who is a father to two young children, set up a petition in order to get support for a new crossing near the Queens Hotel.

While there are two crossings on the road already, they are at opposite ends of the street with no safe place to cross in between.

Ben hopes that a new crossing will not only help him and his family to cross the road more safely, but also forge a new link between the promenade and the town centre.

His petition has gathered more than 300 signatures and he has got the backing of Penzance Cornwall councillor Cornelius Olivier.

He said: “I mentioned to family and friends that this would be a good place for a crossing and it all kind of snowballed from there.

“One of my neighbours said that he had asked the question before and was told that there was a need for a crossing and that it could be included in a bigger scheme.

“But I am hoping that with the support we have got we will not have to wait for a bigger scheme but get it put in sooner.”

He said he was “overwhelmed” by the amount of support that he has got for getting a new crossing.

“If you look at the petition it is not just people living here who have signed, but people who have visited or come here on holiday – there is a real need for this crossing,” he said.

“I have been really quite bowled over by the response and it has given me a bit of a feeling of responsibility to make sure it happens now. We are going to have a meeting with highways and Councillor Olivier and see what could be done.

“Not only would the crossing provide a safer place to cross but it could also boost the businesses at this end of town and the road here also links directly into the town centre.”

Ben said he hoped that by the end of June he might know more as to whether the idea could be taken forward.

Hundreds Take Part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in Penzance

Hundreds of men, women and children took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in Penzance last night in order to raise money for the charity and organisers of the event are sending a heart-felt message of thanks to everyone who took part and their sponsors.

Ruth Chamings, Cancer Research UK’s Penzance event manager, said: “Life-saving research is being funded right now thanks to people like the mums, dads, nans, grandpas, brothers, sisters, friends and workmates of Penzance who joined the fight at Race for Life.

“By taking part and raising money, our participants play a crucial role in helping to turn discoveries made in the lab into new, better treatments for patients in Cornwall and across the UK and we’d like to thank everyone who took part in the event on Wednesday.

“The atmosphere on the evening was hugely moving – full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter – as people came together to remember loved ones lost to cancer or celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived. Race for Life offers a unique opportunity for like-minded people to unite against a disease that affects us all in some way.

“Now we’re asking everyone who took part, and all the friends, family and colleagues who pledged to sponsor them, to return the money they’ve raised as soon as possible. Money raised – whether it’s £10 or £100 – will help Cancer Research UK scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.”

Resident’s Input Invited on Future of Penzance Promenade

Cornwall Council have invited Penzance residents and businesses to have their say on plans for a major resurfacing scheme to revitalise the town’s promenade.

They are set to hold a drop-in event on Saturday 25 May on the promenade opposite the Queens Hotel between 10:00am and 2:00pm. In the event of poor weather conditions, the drop-in will be held inside the hotel.

Improvements are due to be completed and ready ahead of the Tour of Britain road cycling event in 2020, which will see a field of world class cyclists assemble on the promenade for the start of the race.

Work to investigate the structural condition of the Penzance Promenade, which has been battered by storms in recent years, has already begun and Cornwall Council is asking groups in the area for their opinion on how it should look once finished.

The feedback from these events will be displayed at a public exhibition in the town later in the summer.

Cornwall Councillor for Penzance Promenade Jim McKenna said: “I encourage as many people as possible to come along and have their say. The fantastic news that the 2020 Tour of Britain will start from Penzance means that we can now look forward, not just to the race and the boost that will give our town, but also long-awaited investment into the promenade, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike.”

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said: “Our residents know best what works for their community and so it is tremendously important that they are involved and have an opportunity to share their ideas on how the area should look. Regenerating the promenade, which has taken a battering over recent years, will encourage more visitors to come to the area which will in turn contribute to the local economy.”

2020 Cycling Tour of Britain to Begin in Penzance

In 2020, the Tour of Britain road cycling event will begin with a 105-mile opening stage in Cornwall.

Britain’s biggest professional cycle race will see 120 professional riders start on Penzance promenade and finish in Bodmin after visits to St Ives, Redruth, Falmouth, Truro, and the Eden Project at St Austell.

Organisers are hoping for 180,000 spectators and independent economic reports estimate that the event will generate more than £3 million of additional spending in the Duchy.

Adam Paynter, leader of Cornwall Council, said:”This is fantastic news for Cornwall. It will help to enhance our profile both at home and abroad.

“We will also work to ensure we create a long-lasting legacy from the event by raising the profile of cycling in Cornwall and motivating more people to get on two wheels and lead healthier, more active lives.”

Ex-professional cyclist Chris Opie, from Truro, said: “The chance to witness the world’s top athletes competing in one of the world’s toughest events right on their doorstep, enabling a generation to dream and to aim for exciting, ambitious goals, could be genuinely life changing.”

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race Director, said: “A lot of hard work over a sustained period has gone into today’s news, which we know will excite sports fans in Cornwall and across Britain.”

The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event and the most prestigious race in Britain, and is shown live on ITV4 and Eurosport as well as being broadcast in 190 countries worldwide.

Details of the route for the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain in September will be announced in the late spring at the event’s National Launch and further details of the Cornish stage of the 2020 race will be announced this autumn.

Penzance Promenade to Undergo Major Improvements

A major Cornwall Council funded scheme to revitalise Penzance promenade is now underway.

Survey work to investigate the structural condition of the promenade, which has suffered a great deal of damage due to stormy weather in recent years, has already begun and once this work has been carried out the council will be asking groups, including Penzance Town Council, Penzance BID, environment and heritage groups and schools in the area for their opinion on how it should look.

An exhibition will be held in Penzance in the summer to present the ideas to the public, with the resurfacing work pencilled in to begin this autumn.

The improvements will be completed ahead of the Tour of Britain road cycling event in 2020, which sets off from Penzance for the first time as the field of world-class cyclists assemble on the promenade for the start.

Cornwall Councillor for Penzance Promenade, Jim McKenna, said of the news: “I have been working to try to secure funding for a new surface for the prom since the day I was elected.

“The fantastic news that the 2020 Tour of Britain will start from Penzance means that we can now look forward, not just to the race and the boost that will give our town, but also long-awaited investment into the promenade, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike.

“I would also like to place on record my thanks to those in Cornwall Council who supported Penzance in this, together with the town council, BID and Chamber of Commerce – a great example of partnership working.”

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “Regenerating the promenade, which has taken a battering over recent years, will encourage more visitors to come to the area which will in turn contribute to the local economy.

“Our residents know best what works for their community and so it is tremendously important that they are involved and have an opportunity to share their ideas on how the area should look.”

The scheme to revitalise the promenade is the first phase of a longer term regeneration and coastal protection scheme proposed by the Environment Agency.

As well as improving the area at Penzance, Cornwall Council’s ambition is to provide a Mount’s Bay trail and wider Bay to Bay cycling and walking trail.

A designated cycle route adjacent to the promenade has also been mooted and in time, the plan is to expand the Mount’s Bay route towards the north coast via St Erth, Hayle and St Ives.

Work Begins on New Multi-Million Pound Penzance Heliport

Work has begun on a new £4.3 million Penzance heliport that will allow passengers to fly to and from the Isles of Scilly once again.

The first turf was cut on the site at Jelbert Way this week by Mayor of Penzance Dick Cliffe, Cornwall councillor Simon Elliott, the chairman of Ludgvan Parish Council Roy Mann and Robert Dorrien-Smith, who is heading up the project.

The plug was pulled on regular flights between the Penzance and Scilly seven years ago, with the operators blaming rising costs, falling passenger numbers and a land dispute over its heliport site at Eastern Green.

The new facility will be adjacent to the previous heliport site on the outskirts of the town and will reinstate direct 15-minute flights between Penzance and the Scilly islands of Tresco and St Mary’s.

Robert Dorrien-Smith said: “Today is a momentous occasion not just for the islands, but for West Cornwall.

“Today marks the start of the project that will once again make Penzance the proud home to one of the few scheduled passenger helicopter services in the world, with all the benefits to the local economy that entails.

“We also begin work to reinstate the much-missed third leg of the Isles of Scilly transport system, working together to deliver the resilience, choice and connectivity the islands need to achieve growth now and in the future.”

Simon Elliott, Cornwall Councillor for Ludgvan, added “I felt privileged to be part of this important step in returning the iconic helicopter service to Penzance and look forward to the day when this corner of Ludgvan Parish will see holidaymakers and Scillonians once again fly out over Mounts Bay.”

The heliport will help extend the visitor season on the Isles of Scilly, add around £10 million to the local economy and provide around 30 permanent jobs.

Mayor of Penzance, Dick Cliffe, said: “Cutting the first sods certainly felt like an historic moment. I cannot overstate the importance of this project to the economy of the islands and Penzance.”

Helicopters will fly between Penzance, Tresco and St Mary’s year round from spring 2020 and tickets are set to go on sale this summer.

Penzance Set for Multi-million Pound Cash Injection to Transform Town Centre

Penzance could be in line to receive a multi-million pound boost to transform and modernise its high street.

Cornwall’s bid to secure an allocation from a national £675m high street fund gained traction this week when Penzance was confirmed by Cornwall Council as the focus for its bid to the Government.

If successful the grant – which would likely see around £10m invested in the West Cornwall town, would pay for a complete reimagining of the town centre and could include high-quality housing replacing failing shops, and a hub for creative businesses.

Launched at the tail-end of 2018, the Future High Streets Fund is key part of the Government’s plan to revive high streets around the country, providing co-funding towards capital projects that transform and regenerate town centres through innovative proposals around transport, housing delivery and public services.

The Government allows just one bid from each local authority area, which has resulted in Penzance being put forward by the Cornwall Council due to the ‘unique mix of regeneration opportunities’ available to tackle the challenges in the town and has been supported by local partners and stakeholders, the Penzance Place Shaping Board and Regeneration Group, businesses and community organisations.

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall councillor for Penzance East, said: “If the bid is successful it could completely rejuvenate Penzance.

“We have worked really hard for years on ideas to improve Penzance and I think one of the reasons we have been chosen as Cornwall’s bid is because we are a united town in terms of ideas of what we can achieve via the town council, BID (Business Improvement District) and the new neighbourhood plan. It’s a real can-do time.”

Those ideas to give struggling Market Jew Street a rebirth include getting rid of low-quality retail in favour of residential living in the town centre.

Dwelly added: “We need to have more people living, working and playing on our high street.”

Local MP Derek Thomas said: “This exciting opportunity for Penzance will provide an important catalyst to ensure viability and vitality for our high street and promote much-needed growth, jobs and skills provision for the whole town and beyond.

“Penzance is not short of ambition and aspiration and it is to the credit of a number of people here in west Cornwall that the Government has heard our plea and created the High Street Fund. There is now a renewed opportunity for the community, businesses and organisations to come together to develop joined up proposals that will pave the way for future prosperity.”

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet member for planning and the economy Bob Egerton said: “The Penzance proposal is backed by extensive local support through and with the leadership of the Penzance Place Shaping Board. While we are disappointed that we are only able to support one town in this first round of bidding, I am sure that Cornwall will get behind the Penzance bid to ensure that rural areas get their fair share of funding.”

The council will now work with partners, stakeholders and businesses in Penzance to submit an expression of interest to the Government by 22 March.

Penzance to Isles of Scilly Helicopter Service to Restart with EU Funding Next Year

The return of the popular helicopter service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly has drawn a step closer thanks to European Union (EU) funding worth almost £2m.

The plug was pulled on regular flights between the Penzance and Scilly seven years ago, with the operators blaming rising costs, falling passenger numbers and a land dispute over its heliport site at Eastern Green.

It was a loss for tourists, who found the 15-minute trip extremely convenient, but it was a much bigger blow for the residents of the islands, who relied on the helicopter to get to the mainland quickly, including for medical emergencies.

In a recent press release Penzance Heliport Ltd said preparation work had begun on building a new base for the aircraft, backed by a £1.8m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). An added bonus is that the new heliport is just 200 metres from the previous site.

The remainder of the £4.3m project costs are to come from private investment, with the Tresco Estate and the Dorrien-Smith family, who live on and manage Tresco, the largest investors.

Flights are expected to restart in spring 2020.

Robert Dorrien-Smith, of Penzance Heliport Ltd, said: “This European funding, alongside the record support from islanders, visitors, businesses and agencies on the islands and further afield, shows the importance of Penzance heliport to the future growth of the Isles of Scilly.”

Cornwall council’s cabinet portfolio member for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “I welcome this news which will enhance passenger choice in travelling to and from the Isles of Scilly and improve resilience on the route.”

The chairman of the Isles of Scilly council, Robert Francis, said: “Excellent transport infrastructure is vital to the social and economic future of our islands. Today’s announcement will further strengthen our island transport links for a thriving island community.”

Queens Hotel Described as ‘Britain’s Best Storm-Watching Hotel’ During Storm Diana

The Queens Hotel has been described as ‘Britain’s best storm-watching hotel’ during November’s Storm Diana.

Local photojournalist Greg Martin came to us in order to get the best vantage point for photographing the waves coming up over Penzance Promenade and the results did not disappoint.

Martin, a who took the shots for Cornwall Live, said: “I have covered every storm hitting Penzance’s promenade over the past five years. Always with the Queens’ iconic white frontage in my field of vision. Often darting into the hotel’s porch for some temporary shelter when the biggest waves hit.

“Head-to-toe in wet weather gear, shielding my camera equipment from the spray and watching out for rogue waves as the freezing water breaches my breeches, I have often looked in, with envy, at the faces watching the storm from the sun lounge – drinking tea, smiling, dry.

“So, with Storm Diana on the horizon, I checked in to Penzance’s most sea-sprayed structure to photograph high tide from the inside.”

You can view the photos here.

Penzance Car Parks to Become Cheapest in Cornwall

Penzance car parks are set to become the cheapest in Cornwall thanks to a new park-and-ride scheme.

A recently announced initiative with Cornwall Council will see the first hour parking price in long stay car parks reduced to £0.50 (previously £1.50 in summer) and applied all year round.

The cost of parking during the second hour will also be reduced, while the first hour in short stay car parks will decrease by £0.50 too.

At an estimated to cost of around £150,000, this has been financed by transferring back some of the money the Council spent on the park-and-ride site next to Sainsbury’s at Eastern Green.

It is the latest move to improve parking in Penzance; earlier in the year all Cornwall Council car parks began to offer free parking from 4:00pm to 9:00am all year and a new resident-friendly ‘batch’ system was also introduced, which allows people to park for under £1.00 a day in long stay car parks in Penzance.

Penzance town councillor Tim Dwelly, who worked with fellow independent councillor Jim McKenna and Penzance BID, said: “We now have the cheapest parking deals Penzance has seen for many years.

“We have been given an assurance that the package will continue into future years, funded via the extra income generated by pay-on-exit.”