Low cost caravanning, an outdoor community health and fitness hub and an 'eco-renovation' of the Ships and Castles building are some of the suggestions being put forward for the Pendennis headland in Falmouth.

Councillor Zoe Young, councillor for the Falmouth Arwenack award, has shared the information on Facebook.

Writing on her councillor profile, she put forward "A vision for Ships and Castles and Pendennis Headland, entrusted to the community through Falmouth Town Council – whether or not Pendennis Leisure are able to sustain the pool."

This, she said, was to turn the site from an ordinary leisure centre into a more outward-focused "pleasure centre", serving locals and visitors alike, and setting an example of ecological, social and financial responsibility.

This, she suggested could be done in three ways:

1. A pay per night ‘Aire’ (the word used in France for a low cost or free private parking area for motorhomes and caravans) in the car park for self-contained campervans to spend a night or two, and/or a longer term ‘Meanwhile Park-up’ for those with local connections. 'Meanwhile Use' is a term used to represent a number of strategies that can be put into place in order to make under-used spaces become productive.

Cllr Young said: "There is space for maybe 40 vans to overnight safely around the edge; plenty of room left for others to park in the middle during the day. All that’s needed to start is a supply of fresh water and waste disposal/ recycling facilities, and a way to pay, say, £10 per night per van.

"We could easily manage this growing sector of tourism to reduce pressure from campervans in town and on the seafront, and also provide a secure park up for locals unable to find or afford a settled home.

"Their presence can create income for the town council and discourage antisocial behaviour in the area at the same time.

2. Create a low key café/bar and community health and fitness hub. This, she said, could be used for outdoor classes, nature connection, supporting mental health for children adults, adventure play, climbing trees, coasteering and a nature gym, in addition to walks and talks, and tree houses or glamping for walkers, 'wildlifers', archaeologists, re-enactors and creative artists.

She suggested opening up doors in the glass wall in the summer onto the grass outside, giving views across town, and installing wooden picnic tables and safe barbecues.

3. Eco-renovate the Ships and Castles building, which Cllr Young said has "another 30 years’ life I’m told". She said this would be "a living example of renewable energy innovations and also of low-budget local ingenuity in safely recycling and reusing waste materials."

To achieve these ideas, Cllr Young said it would be necessary to collaborate with English Heritage, Cornish Heritage Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Campaign for Real Aires, National Trust, Universities of Falmouth & Exeter and others, to develop "practical, low cost, creative ideas to support our community, welcome our low-impact visitors and protect our Pendennis Headland from sale and/or development for the few."

Last month contractors moved onto the site to board up the closed leisure centre with metal sheets.

Since May Pendennis Leisure Community Interest Company has been working with Falmouth Town Council on two key goals:

  • To reopen Ships & Castles as a public swim leisure facility, as soon as practicable.
  • To create a purpose built ‘21st century’ swim facility for Penryn, Falmouth and surrounding areas, within ten years.