Falmouth Town Council makes Ships & Castles decision

By Joseph Macey

19th Jul 2022 | Local News

Decision on Ships & Castles and the headland.
Decision on Ships & Castles and the headland.

Falmouth Town Council won't be reopening the leisure centre - but will be seeking the devolution of Pendennis Headland to protect it for the community.

A decision was made last night (18th) at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting.

The Town Council said they cannot run Ships & Castles. However, they could facilitate community group Pendennis Leisure running it, if they secure the funding.

"We will do whatever we can, without putting a financial burden on the people of Falmouth to protect the headland. And to provide a public swimming pool for our town," Cllr Jude Robinson said in a statement.

Cllr Robinson continued: "We need to be clear with people that this is the beginning of something, not the end. We will ask for devolution and we will ask Cornwall Council for a financial 'dowry'. Those decisions will be up to them.

"It will take a lot on both sides to make this work. The Town Council cannot run Ships & Castles but we can try and facilitate Pendennis Leisure running it if it is possible for them to get the funding. And if Cornwall Council agrees. And if it is devolved to us and we can't make it work, tough decisions will have to be made so we don't pile financial liabilities on the council and the people of Falmouth. But those decisions will be made in partnership and listening to our residents.

"Falmouth Town Council accepts the findings of the Carlton Brand Report and our future actions will be informed by the report.

"Pendennis Leisure CIC is a real community asset. Falmouth Town Council will work in partnership with Pendennis Leisure to support the community group, address the issues outlined in the report and enable it to be a strong partner in future leisure provision for this area. Falmouth Town Council will not reopen Ships & Castles or commission its reopening as the financial risk is unacceptable."

"Falmouth Town Council will not re-open Ships & Castles or commission its reopening as the financial risk is unacceptable.

"Falmouth Town Council will work to build a partnership including but not limited to Cornwall Council and Pendennis Leisure to develop specific, affordable and deliverable plans for a new centre designed against the needs of the local Falmouth, Penryn, surrounding areas and tourist populations for the next 25 years and as directed by our Falmouth Neighbourhood Plan and we request that Cornwall Council recognise this need in its Leisure Strategy.

"Falmouth Town Council will seek an asset devolution of the whole of Pendennis Headland, including the whole of the Ships and Castles site in order to protect it for the community.

"Falmouth Town Council will work with voluntary and commercial partners to consider a mixture of public and commercial uses for the site and we will explore the option to lease the SCL site to PL as outlined in the report and give them the opportunity to find funding to re-open the pool and provide other leisure facilities.

"Falmouth Town Council will set up a Working Party consisting of the Chairs of its committees to take this work forward in conjunction with the Town Clerk and Pendennis Leisure CIC and other officers and agencies as needed."

Cornwall Council's cabinet will then meet on Wednesday (20th) at 10am to decide the future of the Ships & Castles site and the headland. Protesters are due to gather at 8am outside New County Hall in Truro to make their feelings heard.

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