Only months after Falmouth’s win in the Great British High Street Awards, the ‘port with a purpose’ has scored another victory - being voted into first place in the Sunday Times Britain's Best Places to live poll.
Falmouth won a reader vote to rank the Sunday Times Best Places Top 20 perennials, the list which celebrates the places that have appeared in almost every list over the past five years
"Something about Falmouth has definitely got you excited," said the Sunday Times. "The Cornish fishing port-cum-arty resort was the overwhelming winner in our vote to find Britain’s Best Places to Live."
In the 20 perennial favourites section in last week’s edition, the Sunday Times described Falmouth’s "vibrant arty atmosphere – boosted by the recent expansion of the university – its growing economy, the selection of great pubs and bars, its restaurants and its unrivalled access to some of the choicest parts of the Cornish coast."
As a result, the town received a lot of support from local residents and businesses alike on social media, as people took to the internet to show their love and support for Falmouth, voting in the online poll and also taking to all channels, using the hashtag #STBestPlaces to highlight their favourites things about Falmouth.
Richard Wilcox, Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) manager, said: “Falmouth truly is a terrific place to live and work. To be continually recognised on the prestigious Sunday Times Best Places to Live lists is a great accolade for the town, and one of the continually talked-about aspects of Falmouth is the strength of the community spirit, that sense of togetherness.
"The enthusiasm and sense of pride is palpable and it is to their credit that Falmouth has named as the Best of the Best on the Top 20 ‘perennial favourites’ listing. This is another fantastic credit to the town after the recent win in the Great British Best High Street competition as well.”
Local Anna Druce, on Instagram, said: “Having grown up in Falmouth, I came back five years ago after living in Australia and I wonder why I ever left. The town has a wonderful year-round feel, and the mix of students, tourists and locals gives it a vibrancy and creative edge that is unique.
“My favourite event is the International Sea Shanty Festival where the streets are closed and there are pop-up stages all through the town. It’s all free and family friendly - I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Vanessa Clark, owner of Highcliffe Contemporary B&B, said: “Falmouth has a real town feel set in a fairy book location. With its sweeping beaches and harbour side location Falmouth offers small business owners a platform for cottage industry and a wonderful lifestyle opportunity. A progressive town with many different avenues of business opportunity on offer, it has a creative and innovative community still with plenty of room for growth.
"The university means that there is a young and fresh population deciding to stay on after their studies: adding to an already vibrant work force. Today’s technology is a driving force behind Falmouth’s success as we become more willing to move away from needing face-to-face office hours. Falmouth is an obvious home for new business and unlike many other coastal towns it has the infrastructure to support this trend. We have never looked back.”
Neil Chadwick, co-founder and chairman of Seasalt Cornwall, added: “What makes Falmouth such a great place to live and work is the combination of having a working harbour, a university, a go ahead business environment, and top of the list the pride of the local people. It is a real a creative centre and it also helps that it’s a sailing haven, it’s got the real lifestyle factor and is a wonderful place to be. In short, it's the people, the industry, the beauty, the optimism.”
Falmouth's mayor, Grenville Chappel, said: “Falmouth truly is a wonderful place to live and work and it is my fortune to be its mayor. We have a vibrant, clean and safe environment, receiving national accolades for being of high quality in terms of our shopping environment, parks and gardens and beaches. The town council engages with its residents to provide the services that they ask us to, this is usually in partnership and we rely on our community volunteers to deliver much of that. There is a real evident tangible sense of community spirit here which makes it so special.”
Mr Wilcox added: “There’s a lively, constantly creative feel here along with a terrific mix of the interesting old streets and breath-taking coastal environment. This sits comfortably alongside the contemporary harbour side developments at Packet and Discovery Quays. The entrepreneurial energy of the place is contagious, with quirky book shops, art galleries and imaginative, independent bars, cafes and restaurants that thrive here. It is clear that the marine sector, along with Falmouth’s market-leading education and tourism sectors, form the pillars of our local economy and contribute to the unique proposition we are lucky enough to have here in Falmouth.
"It is our job as the BID, in partnership with the town council, to ensure that our offering is effectively communicated to attract not only visitors, but also business investment, and new residents, to the town. Our strategic marketing initiatives and Falmouth: Spirit of the Sea, brand is making a positive impact and ensuring new revenue streams are fed into the town.
“As a Town Team we strive to deliver a host of exciting projects that include a vibrant year-round festivals programme, business upskilling schemes, marketing campaigns and community engagement initiatives to be delivered. We feel this sets Falmouth apart by helping raise the town’s profile, attracting new business investment, reducing the number of vacant units and supporting a more positive and vibrant high street. This encourages greater pride of place in addition to giving people lots of compelling reasons to visit the town time and time again to discover why we all love living here. There is also a real tangible sense of community spirit here that I feel encapsulates what a small, real working town can offer."