Plans are due to be submitted shortly to create a 'Cultural Quarter' in Helston, linking up some of its most historic areas.

It is the second of four key projects being worked on by the Town Vitality Fund project teams, to make the best use of a £100,000 grant won by Helston earlier this year in order to kickstart different ways of regenerating the town.

Last week the group gave more details about major plans to make Helston a cycling friendly town, with new 'safe routes' added throughout.


Now the group has revealed more about a project involving the refurbishment of Market Place and the area around the Museum of Cornish Life.

A pre-application for planning is due to be submitted this month to Cornwall Council, to ask for planning officers' views about the proposals, before a full planning application is submitted, estimated for May 2022.

It would involve making more of the ‘Cultural Quarter’ behind the Guildhall, including the Drill Hall Yard adjacent to the museum.

Ideas include adding a canopy shelter to part of Market Place, not only to hold events under but also provide a ‘visual clue’ from Meneage Street and Wendron Street that there is something to see there.

The surface to the right hand side of the Drill Hall Yard could be terraced to provide level surfaces for market stalls, or the left hand side could have canopies for events linked to the museum.

Gently rising steps set into the bank against the retaining wall have been discussed, and a future lift could be considered, linking the ope level with the CAST Café terrace.

There is a suggestion that the basement of Bowden’s could be used for an accessible toilet through a new opening in the wall.

Existing access to the first floor of the CAST building via Wendron Street car park would be maintained, but the steps improved.

Helstons Cultural Quarter featuring a number of historic buildings

Helston's 'Cultural Quarter' featuring a number of historic buildings

Project manager Martin Searle said: "These are at the heart of the original settlement of Helston, surrounded by history. It is an attractive and enclosed space between several of the most culturally strong buildings in the town, but in a state of disrepair with poor walking surfaces and most parts allocated to car parking and access.

"The refurbished space will be able to host a broad range of activities, markets, events and performances as well as being a sheltered outdoor place for everyone to simply meet and enjoy.

"If possible, plans will include a pedestrian link from the Drill Hall Yard alongside the museum, with new steps to CAST and Wendron Street car park, which will reopen one of Helston’s historic ‘opes’."

A heritage architect and surveyor have been appointed to develop detailed plans for discussion with local businesses and residents.

The plans will be available publicly for comment in the New Year. This phase of the project will provide costings and designs, which the team can then submit for capital funding to cover the costs of the work.

Ideas for improvements to the area

Ideas for improvements to the area

As before, whilst developing the designs the team is keen to gather public input to help define proposals.

People can make a comment or add an idea online at or alternatively send a message via the Discover Helston feedback form on its website.

Consultations with local businesses and residents will be carried out over the next few months, and following this stage of the work the team hopes to finalise plans by June 2022 read for funding bids.

Town Vitality Funding for Helston

The Place Shaping Board is undertaking a number of projects supported by the Town Vitality Fund, including:

• Refurbishment of the Market Place and Drill Hall Yard creating an outdoor space for events, markets and community activities

• Working with building owners to promote the use empty town centre properties for homes, community and workshop space

• Improving transport connectivity, especially for cycling, walking and public transport in and around the town

• Refurbishing the main streets, restoring the paths and kennels and making the town centre less traffic dominant

Work is underway on each of these projects and details will be issued for public consideration over the next few months.