Helston has appointed its first town centre regeneration officer to help boost its fortunes.

Martin Searle replaces town centre manager Jonathan Birkett, although his role is slightly different.

Mr Searle, 57, has been given the task of overseeing the spending part of the Section 106 money given by Tesco and Sainsbury’s, when they built new stores on the outskirts of the town, on regeneration projects.

He has also been asked by his employer, Helston Town Council, to look at ways of attracting more funding to the town and is also likely to be involved in finalising a town plan.

Cornishman Mr Searle told the Packet: “One of my first tasks is to consult with local people and businesses. I’ve had experience with consultations relating to production of community plans and parish plans.”

He has previously worked for Caradon District Council in Liskeard and Carrick District Council in Truro, where he was community regeneration manager.

He managed the restoration of Gyllyngdune Gardens in Falmouth and before that carried out the applications for European grants to fund the development of The Moor in Falmouth and Truro’s Lemon Quay.

Mr Searle also had a hands-on role setting up Cornwall’s first business improvement district in Truro and is likely to work closely with the BID development officer that Helston Business Improvement Partnership (HBIP) plans to recruit.

His post was made redundant when the district councils were disbanded in favour of one unitary authority and this is his first venture back in public service.

“What I’m trying to do is identify some things that can be achieved in the short-term and those that are likely to take longer.

“From experience I know that fairly significant schemes involving partnership working and grant funding take a long time to plan and deliver.

“Given my job is initially for two years only, I would like to find some things we can do within a shorter period of time,” he added.

Mr Searle will be holding a ‘public realm consultation’ in late October, giving members of the public the chance to say what development projects they would like to see carried out in the town.

The married father of two, who also has one grandchild, lives in Threemilestone.