Objective One helps Falmouth to improve its opeways

Residents of Falmouth along with visitors to the historic quayside town are now enjoying improved and more attractive access to the town's main shopping street, thanks to a project to restore Falmouth's passageways and historic architecture.

The Falmouth Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS), led by Carrick District Council, has carried out work over the past two years to preserve and restore Falmouth's physical heritage to encourage future investment and the regeneration of the town.

Work has involved improvements to many of the town's opeways; an unusual local term thought to simply come from the word opening, to indicate a passageway.

Improving access to the commercial area between the gateways at either end of the town, from the Moor to the Docks where the newly built National Maritime Museum is situated, has already created considerable benefits to Falmouth, as described by the HERS scheme project officer Tim Kellett:
"These projects are on key pedestrian routes that open up access to the main shopping street. The work has certainly boosted local businesses by making the routes more attractive and increasing the numbers of pedestrians.

"Just a year ago, Fountain Ope was receiving poor publicity because of its condition and now with contributions from land owners we can see a huge change on Well Lane Steps. The improvements have even inspired one local owner to produce a new mural on her property."

Designed by Architects Barlow Schofield, the project officer and the County Councils Road Team, with works carried out by Cormac, the work to the opeways has also brought many additional benefits such as disabled access to a new restaurant on Well Lane and also to the rear entrance to the Art Gallery on Webber Hill, part funded by the Town Council.

Community safety has been improved through new lighting and non-slip surfacing along with the installation of handrails made by local firm Inmac Engineering.

Weary shoppers can now take a rest on some of the town's steep climbs thanks to the addition of small seats, made by local woodworker Rory McPhee.

New artistic metalwork has livened up the routes using traditional skills in a contemporary way, such as Mike Chaikinís copper fish barrier on Well Lane and Matt Dingleís gate and barrier on the Well Lane Steps.

Webber Hill has been marked with a new granite pier made by local granite mason Tim Marsh. Local quarries Pascoes and Darley Ford have also supplied new granite to reinstate some of the historic features in the townscape.

The opeways are part of the £748,000 HERS project, which is also funding historic building repairs in the town centre. The scheme has been awarded £357,350 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with match funding of £391,250 provided by English Heritage, the Single Regeneration Budget and Carrick District Council.

Further opeways are due for improvement in the new year with final completion expected before summer 2003.


Editors notes:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

ERDF is one of our four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million of grant funding available for developing the local economy between 2000 and 2006. ERDF exists to:

Help reduce the gap between development levels and living standards among the regions and the extent to which least-favoured regional are lagging behind.

Help redress the main regional imbalances in the European Community by participating in the development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind, and the social conversion of regions.

For further information contact:

Tim Kellett
Carrick District Council
01872 224570


Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388