Posted: 25.11.21 at 13:46 by Richard Whitehouse - Local Democracy Reporter
A community event in Falmouth this weekend will aim to show support for the town’s leisure centre and the campaign to keep it open.
Ships & Castles in Falmouth is one of five leisure facilities in Cornwall which are currently under threat of closure by Cornwall Council.
The council is considering the future of the centre along with leisure centres in Launceston, Saltash and Wadebridge as well as the hydrotherapy pool in St Austell.
It comes after operator GLL told the council that it could no longer run the facilities without financial subsidy, but the council has said that it has no budget available and has highlighted that leisure services are not a statutory requirement for local councils.
A company has been set up in Falmouth – Pendennis Leisure – aiming to keep Ships & Castles open and to also protect Pendennis Headland.
There have been fears that if the leisure centre does close the council could look to sell off the site for redevelopment of houses or a hotel. An adjacent site is already on the market.
Pendennis Leisure is aiming to ensure that not only does the leisure centre remain open but the beauty spot is also protected.
This weekend a community event will be held on Sunday to bring people together to show their support for the leisure centre.
There will be live music, food and drink and a chance for people to meet up and find out how they can help the campaign.
Ben Leach, one of the founding members of Pendennis Leisure, said: “We have realised that the only way for Falmouth and Penryn and the surrounding areas to keep a public pool and leisure facilities and save the headland from private housing or hotel development would be to keep Ships & Castles running.
“We are not saying that Ships & Castles is perfect but we need to get behind the efforts to save it before we can start to address any issues.
“The real threat is that Cornwall Council could sell it for millions of pounds and huge luxury homes would go up there and the headland would be lost forever.
“Some people really want to protect the pool, others want to protect the headland but we need to do both.”
Falmouth Town Council has asked Cornwall Council to delay any decision on the future of Ships & Castles and has also been critical of the unitary authority’s public consultation.
Similarly Truro and Falmouth MP Cherilyn Mackrory has also called for leisure services in Falmouth to be protected.
The Pendennis Leisure event on Sunday will start at 1pm at Ships & Castles. For more information go to the Pendennis Leisure page on Facebook.