Penzance is one step closer to being awarded £25million for improvements to its town centre.

Cornwall Council chose to back the town’s bid to a national high street fund worth £675 million, as one of four from all the bids around the county.

It has now been revealed that Penzance was the only Cornish town to have succeeded in moving on to the next stage of the process, and must now put together a detail business case for specific projects in the town centre before a final decision is made.

The government’s Future High Streets Fund was launched last December, to co-fund regeneration projects in towns around the UK. It is looking for innovative proposals based around transport, housing and public services.

Working with the council on Penzance’s bid has been the Penzance Place Shaping Board and Regeneration Group, businesses and community organisations.

Penzance Promenade councillor Jim McKenna, who chairs the Penzance Place Shaping group as well as Cornwall Council’s economic growth and development overview and scrutiny committee, said: “This is great news for Penzance and all those who live and work here.

“It has taken several years of working collaboratively to get to the stage where we are recognised locally and nationally as a town which is forward-thinking, innovative and worthy of investment.

“There are very many people involved in this, but particular thanks must go to former Mayor Dick Cliffe for all his efforts during his two years in office. “ Penzance East councillor Tim Dwelly, who chairs Cornwall Council’s High Street Vitality Inquiry, agreed: “Our town team proposed a number of innovative ideas to government and they have responded.

“I’m proud that Penzance was the town in Cornwall chosen to receive this funding but I can’t pretend it didn’t take years of hard work to get us to this point. We also made best use of around £250,000 from the Sainsbury’s development to prepare for this.

“The news shows how important hard work done at a town level can be in winning investment.”

Bids from Camborne, Newquay and St Austell were not successful in this round of funding and Cornwall Council said it would continue to work with these towns to secure funds by other means.