Call for ideas and support for Cornwall to be once again 'The Land of Steam'
A group of Cornwall Councillors has thrown their weight behind calls for Cornwall to capitalise on its steam heritage and want to hear the ideas of interested individuals, groups or organisations who want to see Cornwall once again known as 'The Land of Steam'.
At a meeting in Truro facilitated by Cornwall Council Chairman John Wood, it was agreed that here in Cornwall there is a passion for anything steam – from trains to traction engines, beam engines to boats.
Cornwall Councillor Ian Thomas, who leads and co-ordinates the interest group, said “Steam trains and traction engines attract huge attention and enthusiasm from people of all ages. We want to bring their ideas together and harness their energy to help take this project forward.”
Council Chairman John Wood said “We are interested in all ideas, big or small! For example, I would love to see a regular steam train service into Cornwall, with branch lines running connecting steam specials too.”
He added: “Steam is a key part of our history – famous names like Richard Trevithick, William Murdoch and the Great Western Railway helped to make Cornwall great, driving us forward in the fields of industry, transportation and agriculture. It is also a vital part of our present, with our famous steam railways, steam fairs and many individuals, societies and groups dedicated to keeping steam alive.”
Councillors agreed that they want to ensure that steam is an important part of our future and pledged their support for the current campaign to restore the turntable at St Blazey in order to facilitate running steam trains into Cornwall.
They also felt that there is an opportunity to work on a broader front to truly reawaken Cornwall as the land of steam which would have considerable benefits for tourism, the economy and Cornwall’s communities. They hope that the Government’s announcement last week about investment in the modern Cornish rail network will provide scope to encourage heritage projects.
Councillor Derek Elliott, whose idea it was to form a group, said: “I feel extremely confident that with the combined drive and passion of enthusiasts, councillors and the general public, we can work together to achieve some outstanding successes for the people of Cornwall.”
Councillor Bert Biscoe, Portfolio Holder for Transport & Waste, said: “Why is the railway such big business in Cornwall? Because Cornwall loves railways. Ever since the early horse-drawn rail-roads and Trevithick the Cornish have conducted this affair with passion and commitment. Only one thing, perhaps, tickles the Cornish engineering romantic more than locomotion and that is steam locomotion. Around the World, in peoples' minds, Cornwall is closely linked to steam. It's a relationship founded in history and portrayed vividly through generations of Great Western marketing, Betjeman verse and endless streams of postcards, books and branch-line afternoons. The formation of an informal group of Councillors to promote and campaign for the interests of heritage rail seems more natural than nature. The present is always an interplay between past and future, and Cornwall's future is as much bound up in its heritage as it is in the opportunities of the future - is there scope for a modern steam engine”
Anyone interested can contact the Members’ group c/o Stephen Foster in the Council’s Localism Team (email: email@example.com or by post to Room 75, Liskeard One Stop Shop, Liskeard, PL14 3DZ). Please mark your correspondence ‘Land of Steam’.
Story posted 10 July 2014
Major step forward for Redruth Brewery as CORMAC starts building work
Transformation of the Redruth Brewery site is set to begin this week. CORMAC will be starting work on securing the site and clearing growth so that further building surveys can be carried out.
The works, which are being led by Cornwall Council, mark the start of the wider regeneration project across the site which has been given the go ahead following confirmation of a £1.7m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence Programme.
Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said “This is great news for Redruth and for Cornwall. Work is starting on a key site for improving Redruth’s economic fortunes. A site which will provide critically important access to Cornwall’s documentary heritage. Cornwall Council has drawn together a package of funding to turn this dream into reality and it is fantastic to see a physical start been made on the site after months of preparation.”
CORMAC Contracting Ltd have been appointed to construct a flood alleviation scheme, carry out demolition works and create an accessible public space for a range of activities which will provide a suitable setting for historic buildings and new development. These works are due to be completed in Spring 2015.
Minimal activity will take place in the early stages as the project involves quite extensive planning and design co-ordination before any major works can commence.
Hoardings will be installed in approximately four weeks’ time, and will be used to display information, tell stories about the place and the journey the development will take. The existing fencing and plywood hoarding, to the rear of the site, will be replaced with a mesh fencing panel, creating a safe and attractive space for everyone to engage in the activities on site.
Welcoming the start of the regeneration works, Ian Newby, CORMAC’s senior project manager said “This project is regarded by Cormac Contracting Ltd as a pivotal development for Redruth and we are delighted to be associated with it”.
Story posted 08 July 2014
Celebrations as the poet Charles Causley’s house is saved!
photo Steve Tanner
Sir Andrew Motion Patron of the Charles Causley Trust cutting the ribbon to officially open Charles Causley’s house,
Celebrations have been held in Launceston to mark the launch of the poet Charles Causley’s house as a centre for a writer in residency programme. This sees the fruition of a long held ambition of the Charles Causley Trust to bring the house back into use to support literature projects. Kent Stanton, the Trust’s Chair said “It is as a result of teamwork, dedication and determination that we have managed to realise the dream of one of Cornwall’s greatest sons”.
The Charles Causley Trust was established prior to Causley’s death with the aims of developing the poet’s house as a centre for the celebration of his life and writing and to promote new literature activity in the community. In 2007 the Trust purchased his house, located in Launceston, Cornwall.
The Trust was successful in securing £50k of funding from Arts Council England together with an investment of £116k from Cornwall Council to allow it to undertake the development of the house. The Trust is also grateful for the considerable in kind support that it has received from Launceston Town Council and Literature Works. A Design Team lead by Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole Architects and Trevor Humphreys Associates as Quantity Surveyor were appointed, together with Ron Bullock Ltd as the main building contractor.
The house was in need of significant structural repairs and renovation throughout. The external walls of the property were coming away from the house – leaving a gap of several centimetres between the skirting board and the edge of the floor in places! There were also damp problems throughout the property and modernisation was required – for example house now benefits from central heating for the first time in its history.
The ethos of the project is that the space should be ready for a resident to walk in and find a useable space that they can make themselves at home in straight away. Residents will also have the privilege of using the two reception rooms which have been restored back to just how they were when it was Causley’s home. The Trust referred to its photographic records (including some 360° panoramic shots) which enabled them to reinstate the rooms accurately after the building works were completed; hanging pictures in just the same spot that Causley had and putting his treasured belongings back on the mantelpiece. The vision was for the house to be a place of both energy and contemplation and the Trust hopes that many more writers will be inspired to create new works whilst sat at Causley’s desk.
The garden has now been planted up taking as its inspiration plants that are referred to in Causley’s poems. The planting was undertaken by a team of students from the Practical Horticulture RHS Certificate Level 2 course at Duchy College. The garden also includes a unique sculpture inspired by Causley’s poems created by Owl’n’Wolf (Joseph and Céline Holman). A Garden Poems pamphlet is available as a free download at iTunes by searching for ‘Charles Causley’.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for Economy and Culture Julian German said: “It is fantastic to see the house restored into such a welcoming and inspiring space. The redevelopment was one of the ten priority projects named in Cornwall’s White Paper for Culture in recognition of its significance to the literature sector and culture in Cornwall.”
Cornwall Council member for Launceston Central Alex Folkes said: “I am thrilled to see this wonderful project successfully achieved and delighted that it will see Launceston established as a centre for literary activity for Cornwall and beyond. Charles Causley remains a Launceston icon and he can now inspire thousands more through physical links to his life in this house as well as through his poems and the annual Causley Festival of arts and literature in the town."
The first poet in residence at the house will be Dr Alyson Hallett. The residency will give Dr Hallett the opportunity to work on a third collection of poems, whilst engaging a range of participants through a programme of events and activities that will encourage and inspire creative writing and poetry appreciation.
Literature Works (the literature development agency for the South West) is working closely with the Trust to support the residency project, which has also attracted funding from Arts Council England and Cornwall Council.
Story posted 08 July 2014
Cornwall welcomes Crown Estate new UK wave and tidal demonstration zones
The Crown Estate, manager of the UK seabed has announced today (08 July 2014) that it has awarded seabed rights to establish six new wave and tidal current demonstration Zones, which for the first time will enable locally based organisations to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal current developers.
Wave Hub has been successful in securing the management of the North Cornwall Demonstration Zone.
Commercial Director of Wave Hub Limited, Stuart Herbert said: "Wave Hub has extensive knowledge and expertise relating to the management of offshore renewable energy test sites through all stages of development from feasibility study to infrastructure installation and operation. We are delighted to have the opportunity to combine many years of practical offshore test site development and management expertise with the specific local knowledge and established stakeholder network developed by our partners at Cornwall Council. The formation of this experienced partnership will ensure that the opportunity to maximise marine energy development in the region is fully exploited."
Rob Hastings, Director of Energy and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate explained: “By providing these additional seabed rights we are pleased to be enabling further technology development and commercialisation, which will be critical if the UK is to unlock its significant natural resources for wave and tidal current energy. This innovative approach to leasing the seabed sees us responding to market demand and introducing managed demonstration zones to give other organisations the opportunity to lend tangible support in their local areas.”
Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member Economy and Culture, Julian German added “We are hugely encouraged by The Crown Estate's decision to create this new Demonstration Zone, which will be managed by Wave Hub.
In the global drive towards the future commercialisation, it is further recognition of the strategic importance of Cornwall in the deployment of Marine Renewable Energy technologies especially in terms of wave and floating wind technologies.
Through its commitments to Wave Hub and the recently launched Offshore Renewable Development Programme Cornwall Council remains fully dedicated to ongoing investment and development in this growing sector, to ensure the commercialisation of wave technology and the continued growth of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly world leading Marine Renewable supply Chain."
Story posted 08 July 2014
Cornwall Council welcomes Government decision over European funding
The announcement today (07 July 2014) that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will retain the power to decide how European funding is spent in the region has been welcomed by Cornwall Council, local businesses and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP.
Earlier this year the Government announced it was considering a proposal to set up a new approach to managing the EU Programmes nationally which would take away Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s (C&IoS) ability to make decisions over how the next round of European funding would be spent.
Concerned that this would jeopardise the creation of new jobs and growth and create additional challenges in delivering economic development, the Council joined forces with the LEP and key partners and stakeholders to lobby the Government to allow Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to decide how the European funding allocated to the region should be spent over the next six years.
A letter signed by the leaders of all political groups on the Council was sent to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in June expressing concern over the creation of a middle-man between Cornwall and Europe and Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, met with Government Ministers and the Chairman of the Local Government Association.
Over the past few weeks a number of leading businesses have added their voices to the campaign, including St Austell Brewery, the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Cornwall Manufacturers Group, Cornwall Marine Network Limited and CoaST and today Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that the Government had agreed to give Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the LEP new powers to make spending decisions for the next EU funding programme locally.
Welcoming the announcement Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, who has spearheaded the campaign, said “This is great news for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and I would like to thank everyone who has supported our campaign”.
“We are committed to designing and delivering the best possible EU programme to create jobs and improve the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The best way to do that is by empowering local businesses and communities to make investment decisions and shape their own future. This decision will deliver a more local approach which will lead to greater investment in the region and create more jobs. It’s a win-win for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly”.
Story posted 07 July 2014
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service urge increased vigilance as latest round of FBU strike action is confirmed
After confirmation from the Fire Brigades Union that its members will be taking part in another period of strike action from 10am to 7pm on Thursday 10 July 2014 as part of the national protest against changes to fire fighter pensions, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is once again asking the public to be extra vigilant and careful.
In addition, it is understood that the FBU has decided upon further strike action from 6am to 8am and from 5pm to 7pm on
- Monday 14 July
- Tuesday 15 July
- Wednesday 16 July
- Thursday 17 July
Then on Friday 18 July from 6am to 8am and from 11pm to 1am into Saturday 19 July.
On Saturday 19 July from 11am to 1pm and then from 11pm to 1am into Sunday 20 July.
On Sunday 20 July from 5pm to 7pm.
On Monday 21 July from 6am to 8am and again from 5pm to 7pm.
Following the final period of strike action detailed above, action short of a strike will commence until further notice. There is no indication at present of what that will consist of.
CFRS Chief Fire Officer Des Tidbury said:“Our contingency plans were tested during the last periods of strike action and we are currently updating the details of those plans to ensure that once again we remain focused on public and firefighter safety; providing the best service to the people of Cornwall within the limitations of the resources available to us and ensuring a quick return to normalisation.”
CFRS is asking people to act on key critical safety messages:-
- In the event of fire, you should get out, stay out and call 999 – you will get an emergency response.
- Make sure you have smoke alarms on at least every level of your home
- Smoke alarms save lives, but only if they’re working. Test them regularly
- Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully
- Plan your escape route and make sure everyone knows how to get out in a fire
- Take extra care in the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended
- Do not overload electrical sockets. Watch out for faulty and over-heating electrical equipment, and wiring/cables
- Drinking alcohol? Plan how to get home safely without driving.
Prevention advice and guidance has been prepared for businesses and residents on our website.
Des Tidbury adds: “This is a national dispute between members of the Fire Brigades Union and the Government over proposed changes to pensions and is not directed against Cornwall Council or Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. While the strike action will inevitably have an impact on the services we provide, I want to reassure you that residents in Cornwall will not be left without emergency cover in life threatening situations.”
Story posted 07 July 2014
£198m Growth Deal for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly have secured a £198m Growth Deal from Government that aims to create 4,000 jobs and 6,000 new homes.
The deal, which follows months of negotiations, will see the Government invest £49m, mostly in the next two years, unlocking a further £149m from the public and private sector. Crucially, the LEP and local authorities have also secured new powers to make sure all spending decisions for the next EU funding programme are made locally.
And in what is being seen as a breakthrough for devolved government from Whitehall, the LEP will also have more control over a range of other Government spending streams.
The Growth Deal is the first major tranche of funding needed to deliver the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Strategic Economic Plan that was launched earlier this year.
It will see investment in a raft of projects ranging from road improvements to unlock development sites and ease congestion, to cycling and bus routes, and improvements in skills and learning. It also recognises the crucial need to invest in sewage and water facilities on the Isles of Scilly to remove a critical barrier to growth, with a pledge from Government to work together on funding options.
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP Chairman Chris Pomfret said: “This is a great deal for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Not only have we secured new money to help us remove blockages to growth, but we have negotiated the freedom to make our own decisions. In effect we will have a single investment programme that bundles together EU and national funding from different sources, all channelled through the LEP to deliver jobs and growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. That’s a real breakthrough.”
John Pollard, Leader of Cornwall Council, said: “Securing this deal has been a tremendous team effort between the LEP, local authorities, our MPs and the business community who have worked together to make our voices heard. This deal gives us the control we sought and means we can set our own priorities. It’s great news for Cornwall and positions us well for future Growth Deals.”
Amanda Martin, Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: “This is welcome news for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP and provides more freedom to invest in the islands, for example, through smart grid investment, skills development and renewable energy. Improvements to mainland transport infrastructure, including roads and rail, will make it easier for people to reach us and will boost the visitor economy. Importantly, both Government and the LEP recognise that significant investment into water and sewerage infrastructure is vital to remove a critical barrier to future economic growth on the islands, and we welcome their commitment to work with us on options for this investment.”
Toby Parkins, President of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and a leading light in the campaign for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to retain control of its EU funding programme, said: “Business will welcome this deal because it will remove barriers to growth and give them confidence to invest. Having local control of EU and national funding streams will reduce bureaucracy and target investment where it’s really needed.”
The Growth Deal for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly was formally announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today (Monday 7th July) during a visit to Cornwall and is part of a national announcement of similar deals across England, each one tailored to different areas.
Further Growth Deals will follow and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP will shortly start discussions about its priorities for the next round of Growth Deals.
The deal announced today is in addition to the £520 million of EU funding that has been ring-fenced for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Between now and 2020 the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP will oversee an estimated £1 billion investment in the local economy.
Growth Deal - summary of key projects
- A38 Cornwall Gateway: Improvements to Carkeel Junction that will deliver benefits to Cornwall’s connectivity with the UK and accelerate new employment and housing development in Saltash. Growth Deal contribution: £3.5m
- Newquay Growth Area: Supporting access to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s Enterprise Zone at Aerohub at Newquay Cornwall Airport, and housing and employment in the Newquay Growth Area through delivery of transport improvements along the Newquay Strategic Route. Growth Deal contribution: £2m.
- Falmouth Gateway: Improvements include a new roundabout junction to unblock a key pinch point on the highway network that will accelerate housing and employment growth in support of Cornwall’s strategic education and employment sites. Growth Deal contribution: £0.9m
- Bodmin Cornwall’s Cycling Town: Improvements to the extensive walking and cycling network in Bodmin to accelerate growth in the local economy and create a more sustainable travel pattern. Growth Deal contribution: £5.8m
- Truro Western Corridor: Package of schemes to accelerate housing a job growth along a key corridor into Truro, including capacity improvements at Threemilestone roundabout and the delivery of critical walking and cycle links along the Western Corridor. Growth Deal contribution: £8.2m
- Night Riviera Sleeper Service: Improvements to the Night Riviera Sleeper Service including increased capacity, upgraded sleeper berths and lounge area and space for bicycles and surf boards. This is part of a package of projects supported by Government that will see the Traincare Centre for maintenance of the Sleeper Service relocated to Penzance. Growth Deal contribution: £7m
- Increasing business engagement with schools: Government will work with the LEP to explore the feasibility of implementing a programme of Enterprise Advisers in line with Lord Young’s recommendation in his review ‘Enterprise for All’, in addition to wider activities to link local businesses with schools. Growth Deal contribution: n/a
Central Government has agreed provisional allocations to the following projects starting in 16/17 and beyond:
- Bus Network Improvements: Package of improvements to the bus network to facilitate the access to employment, skills and services required by a growing economy. Growth Deal contribution: £8m
- West Cornwall Transport Interchange Creation of a new bus rail interchange including improvements to the A30 junction, Parkway Station and refurbished and improved passenger facilities. Growth Deal contribution: £4.5m
The Growth Deal includes a further £8.9 million of funding which the Government has previously committed to large scale transport schemes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
- Total Growth Deal funding: £49m
- Additional investment from local partners: £38.4m
- Additional investment from private sector: £110.6m
- Total value of Growth Deal investment: £198m
Story posted 07 July 2014
Strike Action 10 July
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have announced a national strike in the ongoing dispute with the Government over firefighter pension reforms.
Strike action is due to take place on the following days
- Thursday 10 July 2014 from 10am to 7pm (9hrs)
The service has a legal duty to maintain a level of service to local communities as best it can.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) will continue to respond to 999 calls and will do everything it can to keep the public safe during these periods of strike action. Find out more information about the CFRS strike
Strike action will also affect some schools, please see Current School Closures page to find out if your school is affected.