There is no truth to a suggestion that Helston's empty care home building is to be used to house homeless people, the council has said.

The Helston Packet was contacted by a member of the public to say they had been told that Trengrouse House, which has been empty since the start of the year, was to be re-used by providing accommodation to the homeless.

However, Cornwall Council said this was not the case and in fact it has different plans for the building off Trengrouse Way.

It was previously operated by Cornwall Care as a nursing home, but in January this year the organisation announced re-structuring plans.

Residents of Trengrouse were moved to alternative accommodation in consultation with their families, and staff were redeployed, while at the same time Headlands in Carbis Bay was merged with nearby Trewartha and Mountford in Truro was merge with nearby Redannick.


The council continued to own the building throughout its use by Cornwall Care, which leased it from the authority.

Now it has been agreed that Cornwall Care will surrender the lease back to Cornwall Council "to allow for the re-establishment of care."

The minutes of an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet at the end of June show members approving recommendations in a reported titled: "Creating market stability and capability in residential and nursing care provision for older people."

The recommendations included transferring the freehold of 14 sites from Cornwall Council to Sanctuary Housing Association, in support of its takeover of Cornwall Care.

Cornwall Care had previously purchased 125-year leaseholds in 2001, meaning that while the council retained the freeholds it has no claim on the properties until the leases expire in 2126.

These sites are: Redannick in Truro, Trewartha in Carbis Bay, The Green in Redruth, Woodland in St Austell, Trevern in Falmouth, St Breock in Wadebridge, Headlands in Carbis Bay, St Martin’s in Camborne, Blackwood House in Camborne, Mountford House in Truro, Penberthy House in Newquay, Chyvarhas in Callington, Trevarna in St Austell and Pengover House in Liskeard.


Helston was not among the transfer list. Instead, the report included a recommendation to: "Surrender of the Helston lease by Cornwall Care to the Council to allow for the re-establishment of care."

The report also gave some background, stating: "Cornwall Care approached the council in late autumn 2021 to discuss plans to strengthen their resilience following the pandemic and the ongoing impact of recruitment and financial issues.

"Cornwall Care is the largest provider of residential and nursing care for older people in Cornwall, providing circa 645 registered care home beds.

"The Care Act 2014 imposes legal responsibilities on the council if a care provider were to fail. The Act makes it clear that local authorities have a

temporary duty to ensure that the assessed needs of people continue to be met if a provider fails, no matter what type of care they are receiving.

"However, in practice, the council working with the provider must make every effort to avoid such a situation happening in the first place, protecting both the continuity of care for individuals and the dedicated staff providing the care and support.

Residents of Trengrouse were relocated at the start of the year

Residents of Trengrouse were relocated at the start of the year

"In addition to the provision of care, the council has other relationships with Cornwall Care. These include the ownership of the freeholds of 15 of the existing care homes sites, and responsibilities relating to the pension fund linked to staff who transferred into Cornwall Care from Cornwall County Council in 1995.

"Cornwall Care approached Sanctuary Housing Association to explore the possibility of an acquisition by Sanctuary of Cornwall Care. This acquisition is anticipated to take place in summer 2022 subject to the agreement of all in three affected parties, namely Cornwall Care, Sanctuary Housing Association and Cornwall Council.

"All parties are committed to ensuring that the acquisition from day one does not change how people’s needs are met, or the staff that are involved in meeting their needs and that the transition is seamless for users, families and front-line staff."

Now it has been confirmed this is being taken forward, although as yet there has been no further discussions in public about Trengrouse being turned back into a care home by the council.

A Cornwall Council spokesperson told the Packet that the building is to be used "for the re-establishment of care, not as a temporary homeless facility", adding that there was no further update at the current time.