Helston groups vie for Passmore Edwards Institute community centre cash

Falmouth Packet: The Passmore Edwards Institute before it was sold The Passmore Edwards Institute before it was sold

Despite the cash from the sale of the Passmore Edwards Institute being for a new community centre, Helston’s theatre, museum and arts centre have formed a joint bid to get thier hands on the cash.

Currently the full £158,000 left from the sale of the Passmore Edwards Institute (after fees were deducted) has been put in a dedicated budget by the town council, meaning it cannot be spent on anything other than a new community centre.

However, the Epworth Hall, Helston Museum and the Cornubian Arts and Science Trust (CAST), which has turned the institute into an arts centre, will tomorrow (Thursday) call up the council to instead split that money between the three organisations.

This would fund projects such as a research database, visitor centre and greater access to theatre, not a community centre.

They believe their bid is given extra weight as it fits with a covenant put on the 3 Penrose Road building, which carried over with the sale. This states that two thirds of the sale proceeds must be spent on an “institute of technical instruction”.

In their supporting statement, CAST chairman Teresa Gleadowe, Epworth Hall chairman Mark Upton and David Turnbull, secretary of the South Kerrier Heritage Trust that now runs the museum, described Helston’s history and architectural heritage as “unique selling points” that had to be built on and exploited for the future of the town.

“Helston has a fine town centre and draws its identity from a richness of heritage and culture, and yet we do not do enough to promote this strength,” they argued.
The museum wants the money to help increase visitor numbers and encourage people to stay in the town longer.
The heritage trust plans to provide a visitor information centre in the entrance to the museum, as they believe visitors currently struggle to find their way around the town. The National Trust has offered to provide a National Trust Information Point alongside this.

There is also a plan to create an accessible “research database” that can be used by all members of the public. This would feature a computer suite supported by a cataloguing programme, which would allow visitors to search the artefacts, photographs and documents within the museum collection, electronically.

Access to the Epworth Hall forms their part of the bid, as currently it does not comply with latest standards and restricts who can use it. It also prevents some touring groups and organisations from using the hall.

Finally, CAST needs money to continue the refurbishment of its building and build on projects such as a community cafe, which would also serve visitors to the nearby museum.
The trio of organisations added: “Helston needs support and investment now and we believe that each of these organisations can contribute very significantly to developing the town for the benefit of its community, raising its profile for national and international visitors, and arresting its continuing decline.”

Their bid will depend on a decision made by councillors earlier in tomorrow’s meeting, when councillor Martine Knight will ask for the proceeds of the institute sale to be reallocated for community projects. The meeting begins at 7.15pm in the council chambers above the Guildhall.

Comments (17)

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9:18am Thu 17 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

If the council vote in favour of this proposal by Cllr Knight then I am not voting for any of them in the future. The council PROMISED the money from the sale would be reinvested in a new community centre, when they were trying to gain favour in the selling of the old one. They keep giving permission for houses to be built in the North of Helston but where are the facilities to go with them like a community centre. I wouldn't mind even if it was in the town but it should be spent on a community centre, and if they can't afford to build one then invest the money in an existing building that can be used as one.
The museum is ok as it is and the group that took over the running of it did not say they were going to fleece the TC of its money to do so. The Art centre is a private enterprise and how ever good it might be, it is just that, a private endeavour, it says about an information centre and café to serve those that use the museum, what a load of tosh, there are plenty of cafes nearer the museum like the Open door café, Absolutely Necessary, the Coffee Bean etc and the BIP are supposed to be opening an information centre in their base, this will undermine their chances of getting a base surely, and take trade away from existing cafes.
The Epworth Hall should have some help for disability access to their building but this could be done with an individual grant from the council or BIP combined etc.
That money is supposed to be for a community centre, and as for ancient covenants, a community centre can be used for 'technical' learning, I doubt the covenant is enforceable anyway.
Wake up TC and stop being fleeced of all the peoples money, if I open a building of interest and 'for the good of Helston' can I have a load of council money invested.
If the council vote in favour of this proposal by Cllr Knight then I am not voting for any of them in the future. The council PROMISED the money from the sale would be reinvested in a new community centre, when they were trying to gain favour in the selling of the old one. They keep giving permission for houses to be built in the North of Helston but where are the facilities to go with them like a community centre. I wouldn't mind even if it was in the town but it should be spent on a community centre, and if they can't afford to build one then invest the money in an existing building that can be used as one. The museum is ok as it is and the group that took over the running of it did not say they were going to fleece the TC of its money to do so. The Art centre is a private enterprise and how ever good it might be, it is just that, a private endeavour, it says about an information centre and café to serve those that use the museum, what a load of tosh, there are plenty of cafes nearer the museum like the Open door café, Absolutely Necessary, the Coffee Bean etc and the BIP are supposed to be opening an information centre in their base, this will undermine their chances of getting a base surely, and take trade away from existing cafes. The Epworth Hall should have some help for disability access to their building but this could be done with an individual grant from the council or BIP combined etc. That money is supposed to be for a community centre, and as for ancient covenants, a community centre can be used for 'technical' learning, I doubt the covenant is enforceable anyway. Wake up TC and stop being fleeced of all the peoples money, if I open a building of interest and 'for the good of Helston' can I have a load of council money invested. PR Helston

12:36pm Thu 17 Oct 13

telstar1962 says...

I have copied the following from another web-site which gives an unbiased view of what's been going on with one of Helston's iconic buildings.

'' Earlier this year the Community Groups were told that the building was to be sold and they were given notice to quit. The reason given was that the original conveyance of the land to the Corporation was for Technical Education purposes and, according to the present Trustees, the Helston Town Council, require that one third of the present building is used for "Science" purposes. Since, they said, they could not find a way around this obstacle they were not prepared to renew the lease to the Community Association but proposed selling the building and with the money raised, build a replacement community centre at some time in the future. I am sure that Passmore Edwards would now repeat his comment made over 100 years ago when faced with continual delays and bureaucratic meddling over the construction of the Launceston Free Library. He said "If I had known then what I now know I may have spent more of my money in London and less in Cornwall".

It would be fascinating to discuss with a property lawyer as to just exactly what a Covenant on a property such as this means, and whether or not it can be totally disregarded because a small group of residents wish to do so.

Good luck to anyone trying to help Helston and/or Cornwall, but even Passmore Edwards finally wished that he had invested more of his money elsewhere
I have copied the following from another web-site which gives an unbiased view of what's been going on with one of Helston's iconic buildings. '' Earlier this year the Community Groups were told that the building was to be sold and they were given notice to quit. The reason given was that the original conveyance of the land to the Corporation was for Technical Education purposes and, according to the present Trustees, the Helston Town Council, require that one third of the present building is used for "Science" purposes. Since, they said, they could not find a way around this obstacle they were not prepared to renew the lease to the Community Association but proposed selling the building and with the money raised, build a replacement community centre at some time in the future. I am sure that Passmore Edwards would now repeat his comment made over 100 years ago when faced with continual delays and bureaucratic meddling over the construction of the Launceston Free Library. He said "If I had known then what I now know I may have spent more of my money in London and less in Cornwall". It would be fascinating to discuss with a property lawyer as to just exactly what a Covenant on a property such as this means, and whether or not it can be totally disregarded because a small group of residents wish to do so. Good luck to anyone trying to help Helston and/or Cornwall, but even Passmore Edwards finally wished that he had invested more of his money elsewhere telstar1962

12:59pm Thu 17 Oct 13

ronedgcumbe says...

Will be interesting to find out who abstains tonight.
Will be interesting to find out who abstains tonight. ronedgcumbe

2:05pm Thu 17 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

You are not committing yourself then ronedgcumbe what your actual opinion is what the money should be used for ? Not having a dig, just interested.
You are not committing yourself then ronedgcumbe what your actual opinion is what the money should be used for ? Not having a dig, just interested. PR Helston

2:17pm Thu 17 Oct 13

krazyitchkatie says...

I personally dont think that a community centre would be worthwhile and would much rather see it invested in the arts and history of the town. Helston could quite easily build up a modern reputation with its quality of heritage and artists, which can only be a positive thing for the town as a whole.
I personally dont think that a community centre would be worthwhile and would much rather see it invested in the arts and history of the town. Helston could quite easily build up a modern reputation with its quality of heritage and artists, which can only be a positive thing for the town as a whole. krazyitchkatie

2:57pm Thu 17 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

It is all very jolly people like Passmore Edwards leaving a building donkeys years ago for the 'then' council to have but unfortunately he didn't leave an unending supply of money to maintain it with.
The council can't even afford to keep libraries etc all open.
Krazyitchkatie I believe you are a member of the BIP according to their website and work for the holiday cottages place, perhaps the BIP and the holiday cottages firm would like to sponsor the Penrose Arts Centre and I think put their money where their mouth is instead of the ART Centre trying to bleed the council dry of money.
It is all very jolly people like Passmore Edwards leaving a building donkeys years ago for the 'then' council to have but unfortunately he didn't leave an unending supply of money to maintain it with. The council can't even afford to keep libraries etc all open. Krazyitchkatie I believe you are a member of the BIP according to their website and work for the holiday cottages place, perhaps the BIP and the holiday cottages firm would like to sponsor the Penrose Arts Centre and I think put their money where their mouth is instead of the ART Centre trying to bleed the council dry of money. PR Helston

2:59pm Thu 17 Oct 13

krazyitchkatie says...

Unfortunately I have no influence on how money is spent, being a menial worker. I was just putting my humble opinion forward as a resident.
Unfortunately I have no influence on how money is spent, being a menial worker. I was just putting my humble opinion forward as a resident. krazyitchkatie

3:00pm Thu 17 Oct 13

ronedgcumbe says...

PR Helston wrote:
You are not committing yourself then ronedgcumbe what your actual opinion is what the money should be used for ? Not having a dig, just interested.
I have nothing to add to your earlier post. Sums up my opinion entirely . To simply carve it up like this proposal would be a mistake by this council.
[quote][p][bold]PR Helston[/bold] wrote: You are not committing yourself then ronedgcumbe what your actual opinion is what the money should be used for ? Not having a dig, just interested.[/p][/quote]I have nothing to add to your earlier post. Sums up my opinion entirely . To simply carve it up like this proposal would be a mistake by this council. ronedgcumbe

3:08pm Thu 17 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

Fair enough, you sounded to me much more than a menial worker on the BIP website. Perhaps the BIP website shows everything to better than it actually really is.
Fair enough, you sounded to me much more than a menial worker on the BIP website. Perhaps the BIP website shows everything to better than it actually really is. PR Helston

3:18pm Thu 17 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

ronedgcumbe I agree with you about wondering who will abstain, I think with any council vote, unless someone actually has a vested interest, everyone should be made to vote, and if not everyone is present then the voting should be deferred until a meeting where everyone can be present, there is too much of people getting out of making a decision by not going to the meeting etc.
ronedgcumbe I agree with you about wondering who will abstain, I think with any council vote, unless someone actually has a vested interest, everyone should be made to vote, and if not everyone is present then the voting should be deferred until a meeting where everyone can be present, there is too much of people getting out of making a decision by not going to the meeting etc. PR Helston

3:51pm Thu 17 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

By the way people, just wondering why on earth does the BIP needs 14 directors one of which is MP Andrew George, and there is Cllr Wallis and Cllr Haycock, T Cllr John Martin and T Cllr Justine Hornsby, hope all these people are not allowed to claim expenses, especially MP Andrew George. Seems like a lot of directing going on but not much action. Perhaps they are all being directed in the wrong direction. Do any of the BIP members have an interest in the Epworth Hall, Arts Centre or Museum I wonder, because the BIP seem to me as experts in getting money out of the council. Cant wait to see how the vote goes tonight.
By the way people, just wondering why on earth does the BIP needs 14 directors one of which is MP Andrew George, and there is Cllr Wallis and Cllr Haycock, T Cllr John Martin and T Cllr Justine Hornsby, hope all these people are not allowed to claim expenses, especially MP Andrew George. Seems like a lot of directing going on but not much action. Perhaps they are all being directed in the wrong direction. Do any of the BIP members have an interest in the Epworth Hall, Arts Centre or Museum I wonder, because the BIP seem to me as experts in getting money out of the council. Cant wait to see how the vote goes tonight. PR Helston

10:29pm Thu 17 Oct 13

krazyitchkatie says...

PR Helston wrote:
Fair enough, you sounded to me much more than a menial worker on the BIP website. Perhaps the BIP website shows everything to better than it actually really is.
Ignoring irrelevant bip comments...

As a town centre resident, I think the arts centre is a community minded idea and would love to see it developed further. An arts community can be a really positive thing, for adults and children alike.

That aside, I agree with everyone who wishes the council would get its act together.
[quote][p][bold]PR Helston[/bold] wrote: Fair enough, you sounded to me much more than a menial worker on the BIP website. Perhaps the BIP website shows everything to better than it actually really is.[/p][/quote]Ignoring irrelevant bip comments... As a town centre resident, I think the arts centre is a community minded idea and would love to see it developed further. An arts community can be a really positive thing, for adults and children alike. That aside, I agree with everyone who wishes the council would get its act together. krazyitchkatie

7:51am Fri 18 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

Krazyitchkatie, you seem to want to run with the fox and chase with the hounds, you can't have it both ways as I see it. You belong to the BIP and are all for them, yet you say the council needs to get its act together, well it is the BIP that are quite happy to take their the money from the council and waste a good percentage of it, for the council to get its act together I think it needs to stop giving money to the BIP.
And an Arts community is for those that are interested in the Art and can afford it. The point in this case is that the money from the community centre was promised for another community centre. A community centre serves all, an Art centre only serves those interested in Art.
Krazyitchkatie, you seem to want to run with the fox and chase with the hounds, you can't have it both ways as I see it. You belong to the BIP and are all for them, yet you say the council needs to get its act together, well it is the BIP that are quite happy to take their the money from the council and waste a good percentage of it, for the council to get its act together I think it needs to stop giving money to the BIP. And an Arts community is for those that are interested in the Art and can afford it. The point in this case is that the money from the community centre was promised for another community centre. A community centre serves all, an Art centre only serves those interested in Art. PR Helston

12:36pm Fri 18 Oct 13

krazyitchkatie says...

The bip are not the council, but we have to work with them. We're not getting money thrown at us flippantly, we have to work hard for it and spend it only as we are allowed to. As for them getting their act together, it's not black and white is it? I don't have to be in utter support or totally against. On the whole there is a hell of a lot of room for improvement. Fair point on who an art centreserves but you well allow me to have my own opinion won't you?
The bip are not the council, but we have to work with them. We're not getting money thrown at us flippantly, we have to work hard for it and spend it only as we are allowed to. As for them getting their act together, it's not black and white is it? I don't have to be in utter support or totally against. On the whole there is a hell of a lot of room for improvement. Fair point on who an art centreserves but you well allow me to have my own opinion won't you? krazyitchkatie

2:38pm Fri 18 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

Of course you can have your own opinion, KrazyitchKaite, ok, supposing I agree with you and say you are right and share the money out instead of a community centre, but then why share it out only to three places, there are plenty of deserving causes in Helston.
Of course you can have your own opinion, KrazyitchKaite, ok, supposing I agree with you and say you are right and share the money out instead of a community centre, but then why share it out only to three places, there are plenty of deserving causes in Helston. PR Helston

2:52pm Fri 18 Oct 13

telstar1962 says...

To dismiss Passmore Edwards as just a 'jolly chap' shows a distinct lack of understanding of his legacy to much of the working-class, and he is remembered as a generous benefactor. Seventy major buildings were established as a direct result of his bequests including hospitals, over twenty libraries, schools, convalescence homes and art galleries

It has been to the shame of Corporations and Town Councils over many years in Helston that they have not maintained their legacy, and over a considerable period of time successive holders of Office in Helston should be ashamed of their record, culminating in the very near demise of the building until latter day philanthropists saved 3 Penrose Road from the building developers

The same pattern of wastefulness and neglect is being displayed today by the various organizations quickly spending huge sums of money,with not a great deal to see from it.
To dismiss Passmore Edwards as just a 'jolly chap' shows a distinct lack of understanding of his legacy to much of the working-class, and he is remembered as a generous benefactor. Seventy major buildings were established as a direct result of his bequests including hospitals, over twenty libraries, schools, convalescence homes and art galleries It has been to the shame of Corporations and Town Councils over many years in Helston that they have not maintained their legacy, and over a considerable period of time successive holders of Office in Helston should be ashamed of their record, culminating in the very near demise of the building until latter day philanthropists saved 3 Penrose Road from the building developers The same pattern of wastefulness and neglect is being displayed today by the various organizations quickly spending huge sums of money,with not a great deal to see from it. telstar1962

4:53pm Fri 18 Oct 13

PR Helston says...

It might have been better going to developers at least the council wouldn't be expected to subsidise them. As for blaming all the past T Cllrs, oh come on, i'm no Cllr follower but with the meagre budget they get from Cornwall Council you can hardly blame the volunteer T Cllrs past or present, Helston is not the only town unable to afford the upkeep of donated buildings.
How about you invest in the art centre. What is the point of selling a building you cant afford to maintain if you then put the proceeds back into the building and the community ends up with no community centre.
It might have been better going to developers at least the council wouldn't be expected to subsidise them. As for blaming all the past T Cllrs, oh come on, i'm no Cllr follower but with the meagre budget they get from Cornwall Council you can hardly blame the volunteer T Cllrs past or present, Helston is not the only town unable to afford the upkeep of donated buildings. How about you invest in the art centre. What is the point of selling a building you cant afford to maintain if you then put the proceeds back into the building and the community ends up with no community centre. PR Helston

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