£100,000 windfall for Porthleven
7:00am Thursday 14th February 2013 in Helston
Porthleven has been given a windfall of almost £100,000 to help revitalise its future.
The money will be spent on parking, creating jobs for local people and boosting tourism, as part of a two-year project.
Porthleven’s Cornwall Councillor Andy Wallis described it as “a real game changer” for Porthleven.
He told the Packet: “It’s just a massive amount of money. It’s to make people want to come to Porthleven all year.”
Likely to be one of the most welcome initiatives is the creation of extra parking – a continual source of concern in the port, which is a mecca for tourists during the summer months in particular.
Trevor Osborne of Porthleven Harbour and Dock Company is giving land at Methleigh Bottoms to be turned into a car park for 50 to 100 cars during the second year of the project, subject to planning permission.
Revenue from the parking will be split between Mr Osborne and the Porthleven Regeneration Community Interest Company, which submitted the bid, for future projects.
Before then, however, there are a number of other projects that are aimed at bringing instant benefits to the port.
What is hoped will be a key source of future income is the buying of a community marquee that can be used for events at a minimal cost but also be hired out commercially for the market rate. The hire money will then be reinvested by the CIC.
It is hoped events such as winter markets will be able to take place within the marquee, to encourage people to visit all year round.
To further boost tourism, some of the money will be spent on a website promoting the port, with a town trail also planned so that people spend longer in Porthleven, visit more of its businesses and learn about its history.
Some money will go to the Porthleven Lights committee, which hopes to illuminate the clock tower of the Bickford-Smith Institute.
Another longer term plan is to fund start-up grants for 16 to 24-year-olds who need financial help to set up their own business.
It is hoped the improvement scheme will create at least one job itself, with a small amount of the grant allocated to employing a co-ordinator to oversee the projects.
The aim is for the first lot of projects to get underway as early as next week.
Mr Wallis is part of a five-strong team of volunteers that put together the successful bid to the government’s Coastal Community Fund.
The Porthleven Regeneration Community Interest Company is also made up of town mayor Mark Berryman, community network manager Charlotte Chadwick, Damelza Storbeck of the Porthleven Harbour and Dock Company and David Turnbull, chairman of Porthleven Food Festival.
They have been working on the bid for the last 12 months, submitting the final version in August last year.
Porthleven was one of only 20 bids nationally to get funding, from an initial 1,000 submissions.
Mayor Mr Berryman said: “This is excellent news for Porthleven, a programme that will benefit our residents and visitors alike. The town council is looking forward to working alongside the CIC.”
Mr Turnbull, who is also a director of the successful South Kerrier Alliance that managed the building of the Old Cattle Market in Helston, agreed: “Considering the countrywide competition for this funding, it is fantastic news for Porthleven.”