Porthleven has come up with an innovative way of dealing with its lack of parking - by opening its own low cost car park.

Although the port already has three existing Cornwall Council-run car parks these are often over-subscribed in the summer, in particular the most central car park at Kittos Field, behind the Co-op.

There are also drivers who refuse to pay the council prices and instead try to find free parking in the narrow surrounding roads, causing difficulties for residents.

It is a problem that Helston also struggles with, as both visitors and locals often show reluctance to pay the council car park rates and instead look for free on-street parking or in the residential areas surrounding the town centre.

Now, however, a group set up to promote Porthleven's tourist industry and boost its own economy all year round, could be just weeks away from starting work on a 75-space community car park.

This is set to go on abandoned land at Methleigh Bottoms, specifically the former hard court area of Porthleven Football Club on Mill Lane.

Directors of the Porthleven Regeneration Company intend to keep the parking fees low and although they are yet to determine the actual amounts are looking at in the region of £3 for a day.

The plan could now set an example for other towns to follow and is one that was explained to new communities minister Penny Mordaunt when she visited the port yesterday evening, Tuesday.

Andrew Wallis, a director of the not-for profit company, said: “We're going to keep the cost as reasonable as possible. The money goes back into Porthleven - it's not like it's Cornwall Council, where they have ongoing costs.

“We're trying to have some revenue coming in for community projects; it's about sustainability. There's no point having a free car park because we have running costs.

“It's about a balance of a reasonable price for car parking and bringing revenue in for community based projects in Porthleven.”

It is expected to cost in the region of £25,000 plus VAT to develop and install the ticket machine, with money coming from the £100,000 funding won by the regeneration company for a number of the projects in the port, from the first round of the Coastal Community Fund.

A planning application is about to be submitted and it is hoped that if all goes according to plan the work could start in about eight weeks.

The majority of the land is owned by Coodes Estate, with Porthleven Town Council and Porthleven Football Club also owning shares.

The regeneration company will lease the land, with any profit split 50-50 between Coodes Estate and the not-for-profit company, whose share will go into funding more community projects.

Other projects include buying a marquee, or a series of smaller marquees, for community and commercial use, with all lease fees going back into the project pot.

In the future it is planned to set up a town trail, a Visit Porthleven website and improve the lighting of the Bickford Smith Institute.

Ms Mordaunt met with a selection of other directors of the regeneration company, which is made up of David Turnbull, Demelza Storbeck, Louise Winterton, Mark Berryman and Mr Wallis. Former Helston and the Lizard Community Network manager Charlotte Chadwick was also heavily involved in getting the grant.