Falmouth: Community come out in force to get behind Ships & Castles

  Posted: 29.11.21 at 13:37 by Joseph Macey

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The community voiced their support for the campaign to protect Falmouth's leisure centre and the headland.

The event was organised by Pendennis Leisure to get people together to show their support during a critical time in the future of the community facility.

Pendennis Leisure was created in response to the possible closure of Ships & Castles in Falmouth.

The leisure centre is one of five leisure facilities in Cornwall which are at risk of closure after operator GLL said it could no longer run them without financial support – the others are leisure centres in Wadebridge, Launceston, and Saltash and the hydrotherapy pool in St Austell.

There have been concerns raised that if the leisure centre closes then the site could be sold for redevelopment for luxury homes or a hotel.

There was certainly a strong feeling of support yesterday (28th) for the centre as residents came out in numbers, alongside music, food, and other activities.

Pendennis Leisures Ben Leach talking at the event.

One of the main individuals driving Pendennis Leisure is Ben Leach, who said:

"The show of support and drive of this community has been incredible, we couldn't have done any of this without working as a really great team. As Pendennis Leisure moves forward, whatever role we end up playing we will be asking for your feedback and how we can best use the space, how we can use the leisure centre so that you will come and use it.

"We don't want to send out messages like 'use it or lose it' but do, we want to send out messages like 'let's make the best of what we have' and then build for a better future as we go along.

"That is what we are all about and we need all of you to come with us on that journey."

Speaking to Nub News at the event, Deputy Mayor Kirstie Edwards told Nub News:

The community holding up signs at the event.

"I have come along today because it is really important that we collectively show our support because no matter who you are in this community we need to highlight how important this place is. Protect the headland from further development and save Ships & Castles swimming pool where all of our children learn how to swim, and provides all of us with the safety we need to live in Falmouth."

The main part of the event was people gathering together to make a heart shape near the leisure centre, which was captured by drone.

Another person behind Pendennis Leisure is Tom Hicks, who said the support has been "overwhelming", he added:

"It has only been around 8 weeks since we started doing anything but it feels like it has been going on for months. When you see people commenting and liking things on social media, that is one thing. But to actually see people give up their own time to come out, especially with the weather we have been having as well, it is a really big message that people really want something to happen."

What are the next steps in the leisure centre decision? Ben Leach told Nub News:

Community members coming out to support the leisure centre.

"The council will meet on the 30th and scrutinise various things. Then the decision is made on December 15th, we are obviously all looking forward to that date but leading up to that we continue positive messaging and building of momentum behind this important cause."

Click here to see more from Pendennis Leisure.

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