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Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_autumn 08


global view

Local focus

Consulting

When it comes to regeneration and site development, the Halcrow team has all the skills and expertise you need for a successful outcome to your project.

Environment Maritime

The Camborne Pool Redruth region is brimming with potential - and Halcrow is right here making it happen.

Property Transportation Water

When facing your greatest challenges, our team is nearby with the technical capability, management experience and passion to take your aspirations from concept to reality.

Power

We’re proud to combine world-leading expertise with local understanding and commitment to create a sustainable future for generations to come. We’re available to assist you from the earliest stages of site selection - with the identification of physical, economic and planning constraints; through to acquisition, master planning, impact assessment, risk mitigation, procurement, contracts advice and construction management. Our design teams can handle everything from contaminated land and flood risk through site infrastructure development, building structures and services. The bigger your challenge the more we'll be able to help. To find out more about our services and how we can add value to your business, contact: Steve Burge, regional director tel: 01392 444252 email: burgesr@halcrow.com.

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Sustaining and improving the quality of people’s lives


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Regenerating West Cornwall

autumn 2008

contents

04 _Introduction 22 _Housing Cornwall’s journey from mining mecca, Plans for hundreds of new homes will go through a century of depression and into a new century and new era

some way to bridging the affordability gap – one of Cornwall’s biggest problems

10_Map

27 _Placemaking True regeneration is all about making

Where the main sites are

14 _Markets Facts, figures and vital statistics on the economy of the area

17 _Mining towns All around the UK, innovation and

heritage are seeing old pit towns getting a new lease of life

places, not just shiny new buildings

30 _Tourism With no coast, how is the area finding ways of pulling in the visitors?

35 _Health, fitness and leisure How community health is at the heart of West Cornwall’s regeneration

38_Contacts

Who’s who in CPR Regeneration

Editor: Sarah Herbert Deputy editor: Kirsty MacAulay kirsty@3foxinternational. com FEATURE WRITER: Alex Aspinall alex@3foxinternational.com Art editor: Terry Hawes terry@3foxinternational. com Advertisement sales: Lee Harrison lee@3foxinternational. com Production: Rachael Schofield Office manager: Sue Mapara sue@3foxinternational. com Managing director: Toby Fox toby@3foxinternational.com IMAGES: Ian Kingsnorth, CPR Regeneration, Joakim Boren, English Partnerships, St Piran Homes, Mineral Tramways Project, Cornwall County Council, Colin Bradbury, Paul Watts, Adam Sharpe, CTC

Printed by: Manson Published by: Lower Ground Floor, 189 Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TB T: 020 7978 6840 on behalf of: CPR Regeneration, The Berlewen Building Trevenson Road Pool, Cornwall, TR15 3PL. T: 01209 722099

HEAD OF CORPORATE SERVICES: Jane Locke Subscriptions and feedback: www.sparkcpr.com

Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_0


introduction

Finding its inner strength Cut off from the country, and even the rest of the county, the Cornish towns of Camborne, Pool and Redruth are at last turning around a century of decline, with innovation and heritage leading the way. By sarah Herbert

C

Cornwall’s isolation has always been a mixed blessing: good for its independent spirit and innovation through necessity; bad for transport connections and the easy economy of mass manufacture. And now, after decades of decline, with the demise of tin mining and associated industries, it is technology once again saving the day, with the economy beginning to revive. The population, too, is recovering. After a century-long diaspora, from the 1860s to 1950s, as people left to find work, the trend has now been reversed. People are moving to Cornwall for a better quality of life – as well as the glorious countryside and coast, there’s also the appeal of low crime, and a semi-tropical climate. These incomers are just the latest in a succession. The first came over a land bridge from Europe at about 4,500BC, though the true ancestors of the modern Cornish population were the Celts, who arrived in around 1,000BC, bringing iron weapons, something which perhaps stood them in good stead during the Roman occupation of Britain, which had little influence in Cornwall. When the Romans left, Cornwall came under Saxon influence, and following the Norman Conquest, the first real integration of Cornwall into Britain took place. From then, Cornwall was ruled by relatives of the Norman and Plantagenet kings. Economy-wise, away from fishing, farming and, more excitingly, smuggling, Cornwall really took off with the invention of the steam engine in the 18th century and its rapid development in the 19th. While tin mining had been going on in the Duchy for hundreds of years, ore extraction was limited by the mines needing to be above the water table to prevent flooding. The advent of the steam

0_Spark autumn 2008

engine meant that mines could be pumped dry at a great depth, ore hauled up to the surface, and many of the jobs previously done by hand, or horse, made quicker and easier. As ports developed to export the tin and copper – as well as expertise – so vital to the industrial revolution, Cornwall’s mining industry played a key role in the growth of the global capitalist economy. And central to that was the area around Camborne, Pool and Redruth, an 8km conurbation along Cornwall’s central spine which is geologically rich in tin and copper. The area contains some of the largest 18th and 19th century mines, including Dolcoath, where tin was mined from 750m below the surface, and South Crofty, the last tin mine to close in Europe. Redruth, the most easterly town of the three, began to take shape in the 12th century, and even takes its name from the iron oxide in its stream from tinning activities turning it red. Camborne, to the west, grew enormously in the mid 19th century, with nearby Gwennap labelled ‘the richest square mile on earth’ at the time. It was also home to Richard Trevithick, one of the leaders in steam engine development, whose steam-propelled vehicle predated Stevenson’s more famous Rocket by a few decades. But by the middle of the 19th century vast deposits of tin and copper ore were found abroad, and deep, expensive Cornish mines became uncompetitive. They started a long downhill decline, and the last mines closed in the 1990s. Now, following increases of the tin price on the world market, companies such as Western United Mines are considering reopening some mines, but even if it is successful, tin mining will never dominate West ➔


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Improvements to the infrastructure are vital if the regeneration is to last Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_0


Delivering a vision for the future

GVA Grimley is one of the UK’s leading firms of property advisers with over 1,200 employees in 13 offices across the UK and Ireland. We are renowned for our expertise in planning, development and regeneration. Based on our extensive experience and knowledge

of the property market and planning process we give strategic, detailed and best-practice advice. This is helping to deliver exciting, sustainable solutions in Camborne, Pool and Redruth and to some of the most prominent developments in Cornwall.

Mark Brunsdon - Joint Senior Regional Director mark.brunsdon@gvagrimley.co.uk Jo Davis - Planning & Regeneration jo.davis@gvagrimley.co.uk Matt Morris - Planning & Regeneration matt.morris@gvagrimley.co.uk Ben Lovell - Development & Regeneration ben.lovell@gvagrimley.co.uk

0117 984 2400 www.gvagrimley.co.uk


introduction Cornwall’s economy as it once did. The permanent legacy is the Cornish communities that prospered in other countries, as many Cornish miners emigrated taking their mining skills to Australia, North and South America and South Africa, as well as Cornish inventions, such as the vital safety lamp invented by Humphry Davy of Penzance. In Cornwall all that remains are the ruined engine houses with their massive granite walls and high brick chimneys. For many decades, these sites were seen as having little value, and either cleared for new industry or housing or neglected and allowed to fall into ruin. Recently, however, their enormous heritage value has been recognised by UNESCO, which awarded the area World Heritage status in recognition of the importance of Cornish mining’s historic landscape, outstanding buildings, technological innovation and scientific research. Without the obvious tourist draws of rocky cliffs, sandy beaches and blue waters, which attract so many to Cornwall’s coasts each year, these sites – along with town centres – are proving a new focus for tourism and regeneration projects. The largest, and most transformational of all these will be Heartlands, a huge new cultural park in Pool, the village between Redruth and Camborne. Stretching from the centre of Pool, through the restored Robinson’s Shaft to South Crofty. Reaching right out into the new residential and business areas, Heartlands will dramatically transform 7.5 ha of derelict land with innovative landscape design celebrating the culture of Cornwall, with romantic post-industrial ruins, ‘diaspora’ gardens, dramatic water features, as well as providing dynamic new spaces for exercise, relaxation, learning, appreciation, public art and performance.

The park aims to be the UK’s first purpose-designed zero energy park, with energy generated on site equaling or exceeding that expended to run and maintain it. The project successfully secured £22.3 million of funding through the Big Lottery’s Living Landmarks Fund in November 2007, and construction is due to start at the end of 2008 (see pg 30-32). CPR Regeneration, the body charged with co-ordinating the area’s economic regeneration, is a firm believer in the power of big ideas and big projects to turn around the fortunes of the area, with Heartlands being in the vanguard of vastly increasing visitor numbers and facilitating economic growth in the region. It has had its work cut out. The major loss of the mining industry, combined with the region’s isolation, hit the county hard. Attracting new employers has not been easy, with Bristol over 270km away and London almost 450km, and the CPR area is one of the most impoverished in the country, with a quarter of local households in deprivation and earnings barely 75% of the national average. The situation is compounded by a high proportion of part-time and seasonal work, together with low rateable values and the small size of most local businesses. But recovery has taken root, with the outlook improving markedly in the past two years. The legacy of innovation has helped spark an industrial renaissance, which is now based on small companies developing renewable energy, aerospace, biomedical and automotive technologies. Manufacturing still employs over 11% of the workforce in West Cornwall, while jobs in finance, ITC and business have risen to almost 13%. Unemployment is falling, with just 1.5% of the population claiming Job Seekers Allowance in April 2008 (compared to 2.2% nationally), although these statistics hide more intractable worklessness ➔

the industrial renaissance is based on small companies

Left: Pool Innovation Centre. Top: Dolcoath mine, when operational. Above: Heartlands scheme includes exhibitions of mining technology. Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_0


intrroduction Vyvyans Court is just one of the new housing schemes delivering 11,100 new homes by 2026.

issues. Self-employment now accounts for over 15% of the workforce, much higher than the national average of 9.3%. Economic growth has been greatly helped by European support. Cornwall as a whole received £330 million of Objective One funding during 2001-2007 and the new programme of ERDF convergence funding will provide £225 million between 2008 and 2015. The result has been to raise Cornwall’s GDP from 56% of the EU average in 2001 to 75% in 2007 and to create 20,000 new jobs. The CPR area now expects to see at least £120 million of public sector priming funds during 2008-2015, which should stimulate private investment as high as £250 million. One problem that needs addressing urgently is that of housing affordability. The popularity of Cornwall as a downsizing destination, or for second homes (one in 10 properties is a second home) means that too many locals have been priced out of the housing market. In beauty spots such as Padstow and St Ives house prices rival those in London, and it’s had a knock-on effect inland. Kerrier (the local council) ranks as one of the worst districts in the country for affordability. In 2001 the average house in the CPR area cost 4.5 times the average household income. In 2007, it was more like 10 times. To solve this, more houses need to be built. Ambitious targets for the growth of the area are set down in the draft regional spatial strategy of creating up to 11,100 new houses by 2026, along with 8,000 new jobs. It’s doing well so far, with 439 new homes since it started operations in 2002, and 2,300 more with planning permission or enshrined in masterplans. Some projects are purely housing, such as Vyvyan’s Court in North Roskear, 0_Spark autumn 2008

The CPR area will see at least £120 million of public sector funds

a 56-home scheme using modern methods of construction being used by CABE as a best practice case study, and Laity Fields in Camborne, St Piran Homes’ development of 84 homes. Others are mixed-use, such as the conversion of Redruth hospital into 300sq m of offices and live/work units, or English Partnerships’ project at Dolcoath, a multi-million pound redevelopment of the former CompAir Holman site, with up to 400 new homes (40% of which will be affordable) and 7,000sq m of workspace. One huge scheme, that also addresses the degraded public realm of the area, is the Trevenson Park North project, which will extend Pool’s residential area with approximately 75 two-storey terraced family houses to one side, and about 60 flats and 200 student residences on the other. The development will create a park in the heart of the residential area and a significant green route running through the centre to the Heartlands project and eventually the shopping area further to the south. improvements to the infrastructure are vital if the regeneration programme is to have a lasting impact. The area has to be more accessible from outside the region, and easy to navigate within. To this end, programme entry has just been approved by the Department of Transport for extensive road improvements, including a £34 million contribution to a new £44 million east-west route between Redruth and Camborne, expected to start on site late in 2010, which will include an upgraded dual carriageway linking the towns to the A30, the main road to the rest of the country. This could have a dramatic effect, judging by what has happened around the first part of the scheme – the


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£3.5 million Barncoose Link Road was established to open up employment land and, already several projects are springing up in response: Midas Developments’ Carn Brea Business Park, delivering over 5,000sq m of quality industrial space; the 1,000sq m NHS Cornwall Food Project; and Pepper Properties’ planned 8,000sq m mixed scheme of industrial and office space. According to Bill Radmore, investment director at CPR Regeneration, demand has been higher for light industrial space than for office units, reflecting the local economy. The Tolvaddon Energy Park, Treleigh and Barncoose industrial estates have all proved successful at attracting business, including “a cluster of high-end engineering companies relocating to the area”. Radmore sees the opportunity now “to move up the food chain from light industrial to hybrid business units and offices”. For example, the Tolvaddon Park – now completely occupied – has recently obtained permission for a range of office and light-industrial units, which could create 450 new jobs and an application is currently being made for a major office cluster at East Hill in Pool to take advantage of the site’s excellent access to the A30. One of Cornwall’s growing industrial sectors is information, communications and technology (ICT), which employs around 1,900 people and is worth £92 million to the local economy. Tapping into this, the planned £6 million Pool Innovation Centre will provide 3,500sq m of high-quality modern office accommodation for growing ICT businesses, and encourage innovation through research, training, business development and incubation. Planning permission for the project has been approved, and a

contractor procured, and the centre will be open at the end of 2009. Cornwall Enterprise has calculated the innovation centre could be worth more than £11 million a year to the local economy, and generate 250 high-quality jobs. A similar scheme called Krowji, this time for the creative industries, is under way in Redruth. Work has already started on the former grammar school site to provide offices for strategic countywide arts organisations and managed workspaces for creative industries, and additional funding is being sought to further develop the creative industries cluster. Encouraging business development is one of CPR Regeneration’s key roles. As well as attracting investment and encouraging entrepreneurship, it develops training and development plans with local SMEs, helps businesses identify skills shortages and runs business masterclasses. For those not in work, it has organised tailored training and runs an initiative called CPR Works, offering advice, training and vacancy matching, helping ensure that local firms employ local people. And to guarantee that entrepreneurship and business benefits town centres, its business growth initiative supports small businesses in CPR’s town centres. Emphasis on the town centres is paying off: new shops are opening in Redruth’s Fore Street, and the town has recently become host to a weekly farmer’s market. As CPR Regeneration chief executive Nigel Tipple says: “Our work to date has really been about laying the foundations for growth in Camborne, Pool and Redruth. We are committed to our goal of redefining this area as a dynamic and vibrant community, and one which people are proud to call home.” ◆

Infrastructure improvements such as this NHS Cornwall Food Project are vital for the growing population.

Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_0


map of development sites

Work in progress The CPR area, and the main projects set to transform it, bringing jobs, homes and opportunities.

Trev Gate

A30

Main sites 01

10_Spark autumn 2008

CAMBORNE Town centre improvements

Dolcoath


A30 Treleigh Industrial Estate

Cardrew Industrial Estate

REDRUTH Tolvaddon Business Park

Town centre improvements

POOL

Cornwall College

Barncoose Link Road

Pool Innovation Centre

venson eway

Heartlands Area Heartlands Area Robinson’s Shaft

Barncoose Industrial Estate

Dudnance Lane implementation plan

Carn Brea

Tuckingmill Urban Village

02

04

05

03

01 Heartlands 02 Dolcoath 03 Robinson’s Shaft 04 Redruth 05 Trevenson Road

Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_11


Ldg`^cegd\gZhh map of development sites

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Cornwall College

POOL

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Heartlands Area Heartlands Area

Tuckingmill Urban Village

Cardrew Industrial Estate

REDRUTH

Pool Innovation Centre

Dudnance Lane implementation plan

Treleigh Industrial Estate

Carn Brea

Town centre C^\ZaI^eeaZ improvements 8]^Z[:mZXji^kZ


markets

The facts and figures behind CPR’s resurgence. BY DAVID GRAY

5 Cornwall’s GDP grew from

Vital statistics

£120 million of public sector

20,000

new jobs created 2001-2007

63,000 people m Cornwall betwee Residential market Land Registry data shows the residential market across Cornwall rose steadily in both volume and price until the second half of 2007, since when volume has dropped sharply and prices have stalled although Cornwall has fared better than most regions as a result of the recent credit crunch. Agents report current price reductions even for high-end properties, though the situation is expected to improve once mortgage funds become more easily available. It is also important to remember how strong the Cornish market has been in recent years, helped not least by 63,000 people moving into the county between 2004 and 2007. The average house price in March 2008 was £217,000, up from £138,000 five years previously. The latest figure for detached houses is £301,500, with semi-detached at £183,600, terraced properties at £158,700 and flats and maisonettes selling for £151,700. While the strong second home market in the rest of Cornwall makes affordability a big problem in the

14_Spark autumn 2008

county, the area within a 10-mile radius of Camborne has a relatively high proportion of owner occupation (74.2% against 68.3% nationally), but higher than average social and private renting (7% and 14.7% respectively). Commercial market Although the commercial market in Cornwall is concentrated in Truro, the rest of the county has seen good demand over the past three years, not least because of companies relocating to the area. Property consultant Alder King estimated county-wide demand of 111,000sq ft in 2007, but supply of only 40,000sq ft. The recent downturn has affected the market, but strong demand over the past few years has kept rent levels at an average £15.50 per sq ft for new space. Investment transactions, according to Alder King, have fallen from a high of £174 million (2005) to £21 million (2007), but strong interest remains in freehold commercial and industrial units. Industrial rentals now average £6.50 per sq ft.

CPR’s target is for 8,000 new jobs and 6,000 new homes by 2026


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56% 15%

priming funds, 2008-2015

of the workforce is self-employed, much higher than the national average of

9.3%

moved into en 2004 and 2007 of the EU average in 2001 to 75% in 2007

New industrial units are coming onto the market at Barncoose and Cardrew Estates. Looking ahead, Trevenson Gateway, part of the redevelopment of the 11-ha Trevenson Road Implementation Plan Proposal supported by English Partnerships (EP), has been submitted for planning consent and will provide substantial business space by 2010. Then there is the South West Regional Development Agency’s (SWRDA) creation of the Pool Innovation Centre and the prospect of obtaining convergence funding for a new business quarter in Pool. Also Redruth’s Krowji arts centre, already home to 50 creative businesses, is planning a major expansion. On present plans, within three to four years, the supply of flexible quality space in West Cornwall will be available to meet proven demand. Retail and leisure markets This is not currently a strength of the CPR area. According to Greg Oldrieve, managing director of property consultant Vickery Holman, “retail in Cornwall is dominated by Truro,

while Camborne is not an area recognised for leisure uses.” That said, he acknowledges West Cornwall is a magnet for outdoor leisure activities, reflecting the area’s potential. Alder King estimates current retail rents as low as between £20 and £35 per sq ft in Camborne, compared to up to £155 per sq ft for zone A in Truro. However, improved access to the A30, a larger resident population, the Heartlands scheme and leisure facilities planned for Dudnance Lane highlight the potential of retail and leisure in the area. Other steps have been taken to improve the retail trading position of the CPR area. EP and SWRDA invested £5 million in the improvement of public spaces in Camborne and Redruth town centres. A business growth manager, appointed by CPR Regeneration, works with small retailers to improve their customer base and turnover. A weekly farmer’s market has started in Redruth, which has improved footfall, and the planned Heartlands and leisure schemes on Dudnance Lane will bring more people into the area. ◆

David Gray is a writer with over 30 years’ experience covering a wide range of businesses and markets.

Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_15


16_Spark spring/summer 2008


xxxxxxxxxxxx mining towns

Mine over matter Like other ex-mining areas in the UK, Cornwall is using its history of innovation to kick-start a new economic era. by david Blackman Dotted around the landscape of West Cornwall, ruined mine engine houses provide an eloquent reminder of how tin mining made the south western tip of the country one of the richest parts of the UK. But, as well as bringing great wealth, mining often leaves behind a challenging legacy. When a mine closes, as well as taking away the area’s major employer, it leaves behind a degraded landscape and a disincentive for investment, a problem well known to many areas of the UK. In Cornwall, when the county’s last working tin mine shut in the 1990s it exacerbated already deep-seated economic problems. Although a rise in tin prices means that mining could be, at least temporarily, economically viable, with a campaign to reopen the South Crofty mine in Pool gaining momentum, those seeking to regenerate Cornwall are attempting to diversify the area’s economic base. They are able to draw on the

lessons learnt during the largely successful regeneration of the UK’s former coal mining areas over recent years. Just ten years ago, the prospects for the UK’s former coalfield communities looked bleak. Employment in the coal mining industry had collapsed from 220,000 at the time of the 1984/5 strike to just over 7,000. Over the same period, the number of working pits had fallen from 170 pits to a handful. Yet research carried out by Sheffield Hallam University in 2005 showed that nearly two thirds of the jobs lost as a result of the coal industry’s decline have been replaced. In Yorkshire, one of the areas hardest hit by the collapse of the coal industry, the past 25 years has seen a net increase of 55,000 in non-coal related male jobs. Much of the credit for this revival can be laid at the door of English Partnerships’ (EP) National Coalfields Programme, which has been up and

running since 1997. Over the past decade, it has pumped £379 million of public-sector investment into the former coal mining areas, which has levered in £665 million of private finance. This investment has reclaimed nearly 2,000 hectares of brownfield land, creating just over 800,000sq m of commercial floor space and 16,345 jobs, providing new opportunities for the economic development of deprived communities. In addition, the programme has built 2,192 homes, helping to meet the government’s targets for homes built on previously developed land. One of the showpiece projects is the Sherwood Energy Village in Nottinghamshire, which was set up in response to the closure of the Ollerton pit. Stan Crawford OBE, a former union convenor who is now managing director of Sherwood Energy Village company, says, “The closure of the pit could have wiped the heart out of our community but we, the ➔

Former mining areas, like Dolcoath (above), are being given a new lease of life like the Allerton Bywater Millennium Community (top).

Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_17


mining towns

community, decided to fight back. We negotiated with British Coal and raised the finances to buy the land.” A group of residents, led by Crawford, secured funding from EP and support from the local councils to clean up the site and put in new infrastructure. In a bid to make a clear break with the site’s history, the village has become a showcase for environmentally friendly construction, featuring new sustainable technologies, such as solar power. Eleven companies are already operating on the site, including the national headquarters of holiday firm Center Parcs. Another five are relocating there, which will bring the numbers employed on the site up to 1,500 – more than were ever employed by the pit. Sherwood Energy Village has become widely recognised as an exemplar of sustainable development, receiving the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Silver Cup earlier this year.

18_Spark autumn 2008

Similar stories can be told at Allerton Bywater, where the site of the former colliery is now being turned into one of the government’s Millennium Communities. Elsewhere, the former colliery at Glasshoughton, near Castleford in West Yorkshire is now home to an £87 million Xscape leisure park. While critics of the coalfields programme claim that some of the jobs it has created are low-skilled and low-paid – exactly the mix which has held back the Cornish economy in recent years – in creating 1 million sq m of commercial floor space it has encouraged new businesses, new wealth and skills. Similarly, CPR Regeneration wants to create a self-sustaining economic future for the county by creating the conditions for high-tech businesses to start up and flourish. Jeremy Dunn of the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA), points out that Cornwall has a rich history of innovation,

We need opportunities for young people to stay in the area

dating back to Richard Trevithick’s development of the steam engine. “The area has a great history. We want to take that heritage of innovation and the techniques that were developed in Cornwall, like the steam engine. We want to capture that and develop it further.” SWRDA is seeking to revive this tradition by establishing a series of innovation centres across Cornwall, one of which will be located at Pool, based on similar facilities, called Technicums, developed by the Welsh Development Agency. Many of these are in South Wales, one of the major areas to have seen its economy hit by the running down of the coal industry. The Pool Innovation Centre is one of three linked facilities being developed by SWRDA in Cornwall. Once occupied, it will accommodate around 250 high quality jobs and generate an estimated £11 million a year for the local economy. The


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centre, being developed on the former Camborne School of Mines site following a recent planning consent, is part of a wider project to create 2,000 new office-based jobs by regenerating 147 acres of derelict ex-industrial land adjacent to the A30 dual carriageway in Pool. The restoration of the historic Robinson’s Shaft complex will enable the site to act as a gateway to West Cornwall’s World Heritage site. Primarily, the innovation centres (the other two are next to the Combined Universities of Cornwall campus at Tremough and at the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske) are designed to build links between the local economy and the new higher education facilities being developed by the Combined Universities of Cornwall. “We have people with ideas, but traditionally they have moved out of the area. We need quality accommodation and opportunities for young people to stay in the area,” says

Neil Lindsey, European team director of CPR Regeneration. Dunn says the innovation centre will offer the kind of high quality, modern office premises that the area’s start-up and expanding businesses need. “If you want to rent property, most landlords talk about 12-year leases.” Looking so far into the future does not suit young firms’ timescales, he points out, whereas the Pool Innovation Centre will offer space to growing businesses on flexible leases, of between one and five years. The idea is that once firms are ready to move out they will be able to stand on their own feet in the commercial property market. “You will have enough of a covenant to be able to go out and rent a property for yourself,” he says. The centre will be built to high ecostandards and will feature a biomass boiler. “The people who are in the building are more important than the building itself,” Dunn points out.

One of Cornwall’s existing economic strengths is its concentration of small digital businesses. The ICT sector employs nearly 2,000 people in the county and is worth £92 million to the local economy. The beauty of the ICT sector is that distance is becoming less and less of an issue. With the main cable to the USA lying offshore, Cornwall is as well connected as any part of the UK in terms of broadband access. “Look at the quality of life round here and the natural resources: why would you want to work in a big city?” says Dunn. Change is controversial and some local people pine for the day that the South Crofty mine reopens. But Mark Kaczmarek, councillor at Kerrier District Council, believes that there is an appetite for change. “What local people want to see more than anything is something happening on the ground. There’s a time for change and that time has come.” ◆

David blackman won the housing journalist of the year in last year’s International Building press awards.

Cornwall’s former mining areas, above, are set to become the new heart of local communities offering homes and jobs. Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_19


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housing

Home stretch To beat the area’s affordability problem, and enable local people to stay in the area, house building is top of the agenda. BY MARK SMULIAN

22_Spark autumn 2008


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Affordable homes Affordable homes generally have two types of tenure: rent and shared ownership, whereby residents buy part of the value of their home and rent the remainder, normally from a housing association. Residents can increase the proportion that they own, up to 100%. When the home is sold, any profit is split between them and their landlord, according to how much each owns. Shared ownership is designed to help those who cannot yet get on the housing ladder but who expect over time to be able to afford mortgage repayments.

A strange paradox affects the housing market in the Camborne, Pool and Redruth area. While being an area of relatively low income, house prices are far beyond the means of most local people. The reason is not hard to find. The housing market is driven not just by the incomes of local residents but also by those of people who choose to move to Cornwall from elsewhere, whether it’s retiring to the county, moving there for quality of life, or buying a holiday home. And while this money helps the local economy it also drives house prices up, even inland, as the popularity of favoured coastal resorts have made them unaffordable to even the new arrivals. To bridge this gap in the housing market, local agencies including CPR Regeneration, local authorities and housing associations are seeking to develop affordable homes to ensure that, as the area’s economy improves, local people will be able to live reasonably near to their new jobs. CPR Regeneration’s development director Bill Radmore explains: “Wages are low in the surrounding area but house price inflation has had an impact. We are working with English Partnerships (EP) to ensure that there is help for people to get on the ladder.” John Dobson is south west business development manager for Places for People, one of the country’s largest providers of affordable homes. “The regeneration here was initially focused on job creation, but from 2003 housing has moved up the agenda,” he says. “Previously people moving to, and buying in, Cornwall had tended to go to the coast, but as prices rose they started to look at land in cheaper ➔ Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_23


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx housing

On site

Laity Fields This £12 million urban village in Camborne was inspired in its design by Prince Charles’ new traditional village Poundbury, in Dorset. In all there are 84 new homes sold and 17 affordable homes provided through Devon and Cornwall Housing Association.

Right: Laity Fields urban village, based on Poundbury.

Vyvyans Court This Camborne development by Affordable Homes of Cornwall offers 56 one- or twobedroom flats,14 of which were offered at discounted rates to local residents who earned below a specified threshold.

Redruth Urban Village

Trevenson Park North

Dolcoath, Camborne

This is a two-part project, currently submitted for planning consent. Trevenson Gateway will provide offices, a hotel and flats at the junction of Trevenson and Tolvaddon roads, while Trevenson Park North, is a redevelopment of the former Camborne School of Mines, where there will be a combination of homes and space for new businesses. There will also be student residences for Cornwall College.

English Partnerships (EP) bought this site after the factory closed in 2003. It has planning permission for 95 new homes in its first phase, 25 for affordable rent or purchase by first-time buyers. Also in the pipeline are live/work units and areas for light industry, which are expected to create 250 new jobs. Long-term plans are expected to include 390 homes, with 7,300sq m industrial space. EP is working with developer Midas Homes on the project.

24_Spark autumn 2008

The Redruth Hospital project is a partnership between English Partnerships, Devon and Cornwall Housing Association, Redruth builder Percy Williams and Sons and CPR Regeneration. It is part of the phased Redruth Urban Village project, which will provide 64 new homes, 26 of which are earmarked as affordable housing.

The first phase of the project is now complete and the second phase is set to provide 37 homes, 10 of them designated as affordable. Percy Williams is also redeveloping the former mining foundry site at Trevu Road, which will offer up to 74 homes, both affordable and for private sale.

areas, so in Camborne, Pool and Redruth there have been extremely large increases in prices.” Local residents can now need 10 times their salary to buy an average house. Dobson continues: “The statistics suggest we need rental properties for young families. Even where a local family has both partners working it is very difficult for them to afford a home. There are real pressures.” Places for People is looking for opportunities to develop affordable housing through agreements with private developers. But the developers need, of course, to make a profit from which they can contribute affordable homes. “It can be very difficult to make that work because developers’ margins are low here,” Dobson admits. “We cannot sell land at below market value, but we can sell it without the freehold until the development is complete, so


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developers can defer land payments. Our hope is that developers will begin next year.” A developer’s perspective on the matter comes from Simon Williams, managing director of local building company Percy Williams and Sons, which developed the Redruth Urban Village on the former Redruth hospital site. “I certainly think any housing built in this area is going to have a percentage of it that is affordable housing as part of the deal,” he says. “For example, at the urban village, we are working with Devon and Cornwall Housing Association, which owns the site. “But the Camborne, Pool and Redruth area has actually got relatively low house prices compared with the rest of Cornwall, and so it can be difficult to pay for the affordable housing. You cannot cross-subsidise from such a low profit. I hope that the various ongoing regeneration projects will change

Even with both partners working families find it difficult to afford a home

MARK SMULIAN is a housing and regeneration specialist working with the public sector and local government for the past 15 years

that over time by improving the local property values.” The recent economic credit crunch isn’t making it any easier for developers to manage the necessary affordable homes component of their development schemes. However, Radmore believes the area is well placed to deal with any downturn. “We are an area for housing growth, but we are near areas of restraint where there is pent-up demand, so we’re better able to deal with the downturn here than many places are given the high level of public resource and funding,” he says. It’s not just a case of needing more homes in the area, but needing better homes. A recent housing strategy produced by Kerrier District Council explains the area needs houses that are well designed and responsive to the demands of climate change by being environmentally friendly. It is also essential that they are planned not as stand-alone housing

areas but as part of sustainable communities that will be places in which people are happy to live and work, with shops, schools and other amenities close at hand to minimize the need for travel. EP is working with CPR Regeneration to “increase the supply of homes and quality of neighbourhoods”, as EP’s Cornwall regeneration manager Janet Johnson puts it. One example of this work is Trevenson Park North, a site formerly used by the mining and engineering industries (see pg 24). EP has drawn up an implementation plan with a detailed survey of the area to show developers the land is ‘not as scary as they think’. Johnson says: “We have commenced a few planning applications for the area, the idea is that those de-risk it for developers. We identify which sites are best for development, splitting the good and difficult sites, so developers understand the risks.” ◆ Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_25


Devon & Cornwall Housing supports regeneration in towns and cities. We have a comprehensive range of housing solutions... homes for sale through Westco and developer partnerships; affordable homes to buy (shared equity) and rented housing. Please contact us via our website www.dchgroup.com or telephone Richard Connolly, Group Director of Investment, on 01392 814517


xxxxxxxxxxxx placemaking

Truly sustainable regeneration schemes create places, rather than just spanking new buildings, by incorporating the heritage, and community, of each unique area. And CPR is no exception. By Alex Aspinall

Making the case for place

P

Placemaking, the modern word for an ancient art, is far from an exact science. While everyone can recognise, and appreciate, a well-constructed space, the abstract concept of how to actually create an engaging new space is hard to grasp. Designing somewhere that facilitates economic progression, represents a meaningful userexperience and manages to express something of the area’s intrinsic identity is a challenge of delicate balance. Not an easy task, but when done well is the key to encouraging successful change. “The concept of placemaking has become more a feature of regeneration projects in recent years,” says Tim Kellett, urban design manager at CPR Regeneration. “Over the past 10 or 15 years it has become a recognised objective, primarily through the interest in urban design. “The focus on placemaking has come about because of its value in creating sustainable communities. It means people appreciate being part of the community, they will come back to it, they will feel safe and comfortable and they will be happy to live, work and play there.” No two developments are the same, but there are a few

The Heartlands project will have the area’s heritage at its heart, providing facilities for the whole community.

key principles that help to create a sense of place: it must be able to appeal to its prospective users; it must be something people of the area want to see; and it must reflect something of its region. Community consultation, once a PR exercise, is now a vital element in creating successful regeneration. Central to the regeneration of the CPR area is Heartlands, and key to its success is community involvement. The huge 7.5ha transformation of Cornwall’s most derelict urban area into a unique cultural park, that will mature to be a hugely significant location, will help create and maintain a sense of collectivity within the local community, and become a source of great pride for the people living in the area. The people behind Heartlands went above and beyond the parameters of your average community consultation operation to ensure it would be right for the area. Throughout all stages of the project’s history, members of the local community were actively involved in shaping what is to be created, via numerous design workshops and open days including all demographics of the local community. “We have engaged with the community in ➔ Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_27


placemaking xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx housing

It’s about looking to the future as well as looking back

28_Spark autumn 2008


lots of different ways,” says Sarah Williams, Kerrier District Council’s Heartlands project manager for arts and culture. “It is not just a token gesture. The consultation is of real benefit to the designers. They are meeting the people that are going to be using the development and talking about what they want. At the end of the day the designers are going to walk away from the scheme and the community will still be there. We want people to go there and actually use it. We want people to love it and take ownership of it.” This is an investment for the future: as everyone in the community can feel they have played an important role in the development of Heartlands, there is a great deal of support for the project within the local area, which will serve to safeguard its long-term future. Similarly vital to the success of large-scale regeneration projects is incorporating something of the physical locality, the area’s identity, and the region’s heritage. At Heartlands, the obvious example is the restoration of Robinson’s Shaft. The buildings that make up this grade II listed mine complex are to be sympathetically restored to their former glory to house learning spaces, play host to a digital collection of local history materials and provide a base for the study and interpretation of Cornish culture. In this way, the traditional mining buildings that mean so much to the area have been given due prominence, but not just as an empty nostalgic gesture. They will be a busy focal point, allowing the people of the area to celebrate Cornish achievements from the past to the present day. (For more heritage-based projects, see box.) It is one of the aspects of the project Kerrier District Council is most satisfied with. “Robinson’s Shaft is iconic,” says Williams. “It is a symbol of what people are proud of. We have been able to take that and put something very exciting there. It is going to be used by people. People are going to go there and find out about Cornish heritage, or their family, and make the connections. “People will also be able to see local craft workers, artists and designers at work. It is about looking to the future as well as looking back. It has been conceived to facilitate lots of things happening, not just to provide an aesthetic memorial to the past.” ◆

History lessons

Left: Work going on in Krowji, a creative industries cluster in the old grammar school, Redruth. Above right: Development of the Heartlands project involved extensive consultation with the community.

For many, regeneration means shiny new buildings and futuristic developments. But that need not always be the case, as several Cornwall-based schemes are proving. In a county with a unique history and proud heritage it is only natural that traditional buildings should take centre stage. In Redruth, a heritage economic regeneration scheme, completed in June 2008, improved more than 30 historic buildings in the centre’s conservation area, over the course of two-and-a-half years. Success stories included renovation of derelict buildings at Sebastian House, opposite the train station, bringing them back into use, and sympathetic facelifts to buildings on West End and the art deco Regal Cinema on Fore Street. Caius Simmons, the scheme’s project manager, is pleased by the transformation. “It has been a real success story,” he says. “The town centre has been transformed and it looks so much better. “Some of the projects take a long time to put together and it is really satisfying to see them reach completion. When you look at the photographs of ‘before’ and ‘after’, you realise how much of a difference has been made.” A similar project is getting up to full steam in neighbouring Camborne. Currently in its early stages, the Camborne, Tuckingmill, Roskear townscape heritage initiative will help fund traditional repairs to targeted historic buildings in the area.

Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_29


tourism

Old wine in new bottles Inland from the tourist draws of fishing villages and dramatic coasts, West Cornwall towns are using their heritage to attract more visitors and improve life for local people. BY ADRIENNE MARGOLIS

30_Spark autumn 2008


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This picture and above: Camborne’s historic town centre. Top: Carn Brea.

While the CPR area is RELATIVELY close to dramatic coastal scenery, and some of the county’s biggest tourist attractions – the National Maritime Museum at Falmouth, Tate Gallery at St Ives and the Eden Project – the area needs its own tourist draw. Helping this process is the designation of the Cornwall and West Devon mining regions as World Heritage sites, in recognition of their contribution to the industrial revolution and to worldwide mining technology. One area that will become a World Heritage site gateway is the former Robinson’s Shaft complex, part of the Heartlands project in Pool. “This is the last Cornish site to be conserved in its original home,” explains a spokesman for the Cornish Mining World Heritage project. “It celebrates innovations such as the steam engine, safety lamps and safety fuses which originated here and were taken to mines around the world, including Australia and South Africa. ” The Heartlands project has evolved from the community’s ideas on how to transform the area into a centre for both locals and tourists. Robinson’s Shaft will offer an innovation and intrepretation centre, the mining shaft and equipment will be conserved and surrounding workshops turned into places to eat and drink, as well as exhibition spaces, community facilities, a children’s centre, ➔ Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_31


tourism a cultural quarter and shops and restaurants. A new park – including water features, sculptures and a performance arena – will transform the 7.5 acres of brownfield land and attract 200,000 visitors a year. Work is due to start on the site at the end of the year, with completion expected in 2010. “People are interested in heritage and tourism but normally bypass this part of Cornwall,” says programme director Scott James who predicts: “The Heartlands will be a real attraction that shows the gems of the area.” The project should also benefit from the creation of culture and heritage trails, and cycle routes to the north and south of the area. “There is a lot of social history in the area, but so far it has not been particularly well marketed,” says James. Although the response to the project has been very positive, he claims: “Everyone locally is keen to make the most of it. There is a lot of local pride and they want to share this with a wider audience. It will be our first main opportunity to showcase the area.”

local culture with song, music and dance.” Redruth dates back to the 12th century and also retains its mining links. An estimated six million people living in 175 different countries are descended from migrant Cornish miners and, fittingly, Redruth is now home to the Global Migration Project, which tracks the Cornish diaspora. The project is based in Murdoch House, home of inventor William Murdoch. “It started in the mid 1990s to trace people who left Cornwall in the period of mass migration to the US at the beginning of the 19th century,” project manager Juliet Jenkin explains. “Over time, it became global, tracing anyone who was Cornish born.” The project is recognised worldwide. “We now have a searchable database containing 40,000 names. The project is run by volunteers and depends on donations to maintain it,” Jenkin says. “It is very special, but very dependent on people overseas giving us the information.” Redruth is also making its mark by renovating landmark buildings and shopping facilities. “Our biggest problem is getting people who live here to use the town centre,” Redruth mayor Barbara Ellenbroek explains. “They go to places like Truro at the moment. Up to the 1970s when this was a mining and engineering area, the town was thriving. But since that has gone, there has been no replacement.” However, there is a strong community spirit, Ellenbroek says. “The reason that the community spirit in Redruth is so strong is because people have lived here for a lifetime. We are now putting together a town plan based on what people want.” The focus of regeneration in the heart of Redruth is St Rumon’s Gardens. Formerly a chapel, it has been turned into a cinema and a small secluded garden. The original characteristics and façade of the chapel have been retained. Public realm improvements are also putting Redruth on the map. Last November the town scooped a gold award in the Town Centre Improvement Awards run by the British Council of Shopping Centres, beating entries from 20 other towns and cities across the UK. “The public realm award has been very important for the town,” Ellenbroek says. The improvements are part of the £5 million public realm works in Redruth and Camborne. They include new public artworks throughout Redruth, designed to attract more

Home on the range

Close to Pool, the towns of Redruth and Camborne have also had makeovers. Over the past three years the South West of England Regional Development Agency and English Partnerships have invested £5 million in the public realm of both town centres. Camborne is one of Cornwall’s largest towns, with a population of more than 23,000. It is in the central mining district, and produced large quantities of tin and copper that were the foundation of the area’s wealth. The mining boom reached its peak in the mid-1800s, but even as the mines declined, the town still thrived on exporting mining equipment right up to the 1960s. Many of the buildings from the mining era remain, and the town stages several events, some celebrating its heritage, throughout the year that pull in the crowds, according to town clerk Reg Bennett. For example, since 1980 the last Saturday in April is designated as Trevithick Day, celebrating the local engineer who used high-pressure steam to create small powerful engines, leading to the world’s first successful self-propelled vehicle in 1801, and first railway engine in 1804. The memorial day focuses on the town’s trade and history. Bennett explains: “It is the largest celebration in Cornwall, and attracted 30,000 people this year, and about 50 steam engines. But it’s also a celebration of 32_Spark autumn 2008

Top: Redruth town centre. Middle, left: Heart of the Earth, Heartlands Middle, right: Proposed performance space around Robinson’s Shaft. Above: Cyclists aim for the Mineral Tramways.

We need to get people who live here to use the town centres

shoppers to the area. Specialist shops are another draw. “I run an arts and craft shop and I am astounded at the number of visitors who come to Redruth for its specialist retailers,” Ellenbroek says. “We have to capitalise on this and give the area its identity.” She adds that Redruth began hosting a weekly farmers’ market in June 2008. “We have not had one for 50 years. The idea is to offer local Cornish food and produce to encourage tourists to come and sample it.” Outside the towns, visitors could be tempted by the large-scale conservation projects now under way, such as the Mineral Tramways Project, one of the biggest industrial heritage projects in the country, which links mine sites by a network of 34 miles of trails, based on mineral railway and tram routes. The trails are suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding, and the Mineral Tramways Discovery Centre at Pool provides information on routes in the area. And for an overview of the historic area, and the changes taking place in Camborne, Redruth and the surrounding countryside, visitors can climb to Carn Brea, a hill-top ridge with 5,000 years of history, from early mines, via a 14th century castle, and 19th century monument to one of the area’s largest mine owners. ◆


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Putting much more than a roof over people’s heads. English Partnerships is putting much more than a roof over people’s

In Cornwall we’re founding members of the Camborne Pool Redruth

heads. We’re making sure that the roof, the walls, the heating and the

Urban Regeneration Company. English Partnerships has contributed

lighting are effective, and environmentally efficient.

to this programme of regeneration by buying land for new sustainable

As the national regeneration agency it is our job to support high quality, sustainable growth in England; to improve the quality of our towns and cities, and help create communities where people can afford to live and want to live. But that’s not all we do. In the south-west, we are also working with our regional partners to deliver new, well-designed homes that offer the full range of housing choices in areas of high demand. These sustainable, mixed-use neighbourhoods also include the provision of open spaces and employment opportunities as well as community and leisure facilities.

neighbourhoods at Pool and Camborne with up to 1,000 homes and adjoining parklands; funding key infrastructure works; and attracting private investment to build homes, community facilities, a hotel and employment space for around 2,000 jobs. However all this first involves ensuring the former mining sites are stabilised; the noxious weeds and spoil heaps are eradicated; and the sites are safely returned for community use. We will be creating opportunities for local people to be involved throughout, from designing the detailed proposals to having a say in the way the new neighbourhoods are managed. It’s a busy programme. Putting much more than a roof over people’s heads.

www.englishpartnerships.co.uk


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Fitness first Clever town planning, and reskilling, mean a population that’s healthy, wealthy and wise. BY JONATHAN MORRISON

I

In the 19th century, town planning and public health were closely related. Realisations that diseases such as cholera and typhoid could be practically eradicated with sanitation systems gave rise to such grand urban planning schemes as the definitive Victoria and Albert embankments in London, which covered huge sewers on each bank of the Thames. Medicine and urban design parted company in the 20th century, but in the past few years developers, local authorities and architects have started to appreciate once again just what a significant role design can still play in encouraging better health, and in particular in combating that quintessential 21st century epidemic: obesity. Underlining the potentially negative effects of bad planning, Tim Townshend, a Newcastle academic and former town planner, is one of a number of voices suggesting that public spaces – those designed during the 20th century around the motor car – enforce a culture that consumes energy without expending it, encouraging both inactivity and poor eating habits. His opinions are backed by the findings of Professor Lawrence Frank of the University of British Columbia, whose research reported a direct correlation between driving and weight gain. According to his studies, each additional hour spent in a car per day is associated with a 6% increase in the likelihood of obesity. And urban planners are taking this on board. Sustainable development is now at the heart of

masterplanning, such as the proposals for the regeneration of the Dolcoath area, not least because relatively poor health in the area has been linked to economic disadvantage. Consequently, there is a move away from the domination of the car to create safer, better connected streets to encourage walking and cycling. In addition emphasis on creating linked green spaces encourages people to actively use their local environment. Bill Radmore, investment director at CPR Regeneration, the urban regeneration company for Camborne, Pool and Redruth, explains: “The area contains four of the most deprived boroughs in the country by virtually every index. Poor educational skills and poor health go hand in hand, and worklessness, as opposed to unemployment, is above the national average. There are two to three generations of families that have not been able to get back into work. “We believe, following government research into healthy living, that an emphasis on health in planning will be able to positively affect the most hard-to-reach people and help break the cycle.” At first, CPR’s figures look healthy. Average unemployment in the area is well below the national average. But these figures mask a much more deeply rooted problem of economic inactivity combined with ill health. The level of economic activity is actually much lower than national rates – 71.2% of the area’s working age population are economically active, significantly below the national rate of 76.4%. Reasons for the disparity include a higher propensity for people to be looking after family or the ➔

Research shows a direct link between driving and weight gain

Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_35


health & leisure

permanently sick or disabled. Ill health is a major issue within the area, with 16% of its working age population with a limiting long-term illness, well above the national rate of 11%. Of the 5,100 people classed as workless in the seven wards that make up the area, more than half (57%) are on incapacity benefits, according to the Department of Work and Pensions. Nigel Tipple, chief executive of CPR Regeneration, comments: “To ensure local residents can access new employment we have been working with partners to enable training for 21st century jobs. Equally, we’ve worked with local employers to ensure training programmes provide the skills businesses need. “However, those furthest from the labour market are more reluctant to access these voluntary programmes. Social exclusion for many even prevents them from accessing health and recreation facilities, further compounding ill health in the community. The recognition of the impact of social disadvantage on the health of the population has been recognised by the Department of Health, which has made narrowing health inequalities one of its top six priorities. “There is a need to build capacity in the health sector, with five more GPs already needed locally to meet current demand and a further eight to meet population growth projections of 30% in the next 20 years. Local community health facilities have also reached capacity and need expanding, according to our PCT. “So what are we doing about it? Studies have shown that access to health, sport and leisure facilities can help build confidence, especially among long-term unemployed people and those on incapacity benefits who wish to return to work. Nearly one third of people who are economically inactive say they would like to work if they could overcome barriers to employment. “We have been taking a holistic approach to regeneration in which the provision of health, active leisure, sport and recreation facilities are paramount.” A cornerstone of that approach is the provision of a new leisure centre to replace the existing 30-year-old facilities, which are currently reaching the end of their economic life. Radmore hopes to see a community health facility, an extreme sports centre, spa, new piazza and green open space all concentrated on former industrial land in Pool, between the main population centres of Camborne and Redruth. The new facilities would include space for team sports such as five-a-side football, netball and basketball, which currently have no local facilities, as well as a flexible multi-use games area of appropriate size and a wheeled sports activity area or skate park. Lastly, provision will be made in the development for play opportunities for younger children, hopefully giving them positive behavioural patterns early on in life and getting them outside and away from the TV. These new facilities will all be linked to Heartlands, the £30 million project to create a large public park celebrating the area’s World Heritage status, and showcasing West Cornwall’s unique culture and heritage. It will include formal gardens, play space, outdoor event space for more than 4,000 people, as well as new links to the national cycle network. “Transforming the economy isn’t just about creating a locale, but also about encouraging visitors to come through,” says Radmore. “This is an incredibly historic

36_Spark autumn 2008

Access to health, sport and leisure facilities can help build confidence

area, one of the cradles of the industrial revolution, and people will come because of that history. It is ideally located for forging connections to the existing cycling routes through the county, and we want to make the most of the World Heritage site status. That history can also give an identity to the area in the long term, and a sense of ownership, so we need to make it easy for people to get at.”

JONATHAN MORRISON is a freelance journalist who writes for The Times, Guardian and Evening Standard

Cycling is central to the masterplan in Pool, as is pedestrian access. These days, some contemporary architects have been known to site car parks inconveniently in order to make people walk further, and consequently burn calories. While the prospect clearly amuses Radmore, he prefers “strategic car parks” in a central area that enable people to perform “multi-activity trips” combining say shopping with going to the gym without driving between them, which has much the same effect in terms of getting people to move their legs and reduces local traffic congestion and pollution. The real key to getting people to move around under their own steam is deceptively simple: provide a safe, pleasant environment for them to walk or cycle in. Existing pavements and crossings for pedestrians in the Heartlands vicinity are poor. The railway line represents a significant barrier to pedestrians, road-crossing facilities have safety issues and security is a particular problem at night. Improvements are planned, and new traffic-calmed roads and cycle routes will increase direct access to local facilities, while new developments overlooking the main routes will contribute to a sense of safety and security. It’s what‘s known in the trade as the ‘eco-slob’ effect, whereby the healthy, environmentally friendly option – such as walking or cycling to the shops – is also the path of least resistance. The masterplan essentially maximises the potential for casual exercise. “It’s naturally quite difficult to match the physical regeneration of an area with a regenerated mindset,” says Radmore, when asked how long it will take to bear fruit. “It’ll take a generation for a new identity to take hold. What we’re trying to do through the masterplan,” he concludes, “is simply to create the right environment to help people to help themselves and make it theirs.” ◆


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Far left: the climbing wall. Left: cycle hire and cycle route in Heartlands. Middle left: Modern leisure facilities elsewhere in the UK. Near left: The Mineral Tramways project has converted old mining tracks for riding, walking and cycling.

Spark Regenerating West Cornwall_37


Who’s who in CPR Regeneration Investment and strategy South West Regional Development Agency www.southwestrda.org.uk 01872 243750 (Truro) 01392 214747 (Exeter) English Partnerships www.englishpartnerships.co.uk 01392 435188 (Exeter) 01454 203360 (Bristol) Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly www.objectiveone.com 01872 241379 Cornwall Enterprise www.cornwallenterprise.co.uk 01872 322800 Cornwall Pure Business www.cornwallpurebusiness.co.uk 01872 322872 West Cornwall Business Network www.wcbn.co.uk 01209 614070 Private sector partners Priority Sites Limited www.prioritysites.co.uk 01209 310080

contacts 38_Spark autumn 2008

Midas Homes www.midashomes.co.uk 01626 356666 Carillion www.carillionplc.com 01902 422431 Education Combined Universities of Cornwall www.cuc.ac.uk 01209 721070 Cornwall College www.cornwall.ac.uk 0845 2232567 Councils Cornwall County Council www.cornwall.gov.uk 01872 322000 Kerrier District Council www.kerrier.gov.uk 01209 614000 CPR Regeneration www.cprregeneration.co.uk 01209 722099 David Brewer, chairman Nigel Tipple, chief executive Bill Radmore, investment director Neil Lindsey, european team director


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Regenerating West Cornwall, autumn 2008

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