A former surf lodge on the Cornish coast is to become a shelter for homeless people all year round over the next two years.

Cornwall Council has worked with homelessness charity Harbour Housing and the owners of the lodge in Newquay to secure all-year use.

The scheme will see 20 beds provided for local people who would otherwise be homeless and sleeping on the streets.

During their stay at the property, the residents will be provided with intensive support to transition towards longer-term accommodation of their own.

Olly Monk, portfolio holder for housing and planning, said: “We know that the combination of an ever-growing shortage of rented properties and escalating levels of rent are leaving more and more people in Cornwall with nowhere to live. Add in the impact of the rising cost of living and the additional pressures on accommodation in key tourist areas such as Newquay and we are facing a perfect storm.

“We are determined to do everything we can to support local people all year round, not just in winter. Schemes such as this one in Newquay will not only enable us to provide short term accommodation for some of our most vulnerable residents but also help us to encourage them on the next stage of their journey. ”

Mark Steer, Kate Moss and Harriet Spalding of Harbour Housing with Marion Barton of Cornwall Council (second left) and Councillor Olly Monk (right)

Mark Steer, Kate Moss and Harriet Spalding of Harbour Housing with Marion Barton of Cornwall Council (second left) and Councillor Olly Monk (right)

The council has already been leasing the building during the winter months over the last years, using funding from its Cold Weather Provision Scheme, but this will now provide accommodation through the summer also.

This government funded scheme – originally designed to help local authorities lease hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday lets and other properties to provide emergency accommodation for homeless people during periods of extreme cold weather – was expanded to prevent vulnerable people sleeping outdoors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, many of these properties are not available during the busy holiday period and in previous years, at the end of the winter season, the surf lodge has gone back to its usual role of providing holiday accommodation after Easter.

This has left residents who had stayed there trying to find somewhere safe and secure to live during the peak summer months, where pressures on the availability of short-term accommodation is exacerbated.

However, after working with the council’s rough sleeping team the owners of the surf lodge have agreed to extend the council’s lease until March 31, 2024 so that the building can be used to provide all year-round short term accommodation.


The project is being managed by Harbour Housing, who will also provide specialist onsite support.

It is part of the authority’s Short Term Accommodation and Resettlement (STAR) programme and will provide 20 rooms for single people who were former rough sleepers.

The average length of stay for each resident is expected to be around six months, with ‘move on’ support available for up to a further 12 weeks.

A fully operational kitchen, designed and fitted for residents to prepare their own meals, has been added as previously there were no such facilities available onsite.

Mr Monk thanked Newquay Town Council and Newquay Drop in and Share Centre (DISC), the local police, social services and local councillors for their help with the project.

Harriet Spalding, team lead for High Intensity Projects at Harbour Housing said: “The STAR project is one that really works and we’re proud to be working alongside Cornwall Council and other key partners to help play a part in reducing the level of homelessness in Cornwall.”