£400,000 granted to refurbish ex-Cornishman newspaper offices for Penwith voluntary and community groups

News that the refurbishment of the ex-Cornishman newspaper offices, now known as the Penwith Centre can now go ahead, lifted the faces of Penwith community and voluntary groups this week when Objective One added the final £199,779 to complete the funding jigsaw.

The funding of the £400,000 Phase 2 refurbishment of the Penwith Centre was made up of £150,000 from the Government's Single Regeneration Budget 6 and £49,779 from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

Located close to Morrab Gardens, the Acorn Theatre and the Green Market carpark, the Penwith Centre will provide a focus for community and voluntary sector within Penwith. The re-furbished building will house 18 offices, a shared resource centre and a reception space, all on ground floor level, together with a wheelchair lift to the upper floor.

Richard Vanhinsbergh, Editor of the Cornishman newspaper said: "I am delighted that our old offices will march into the new Century in a new suit of clothes. We had many happy and productive times there and I can only wish the same for those who will be there in the future."

The transformation from old Cornishman newspaper offices into the new ‘Penwith Centre’, has been a two phase project. Phase 1 saw the building benefit from a new reception area, new windows and a central heating system thanks to funding from the Single Regeneration Budget 5 and Penwith District Council who continue to support the work of the Penwith Community Development Trust. However, more work was needed in Phase 2 in order to reach the full potential of a one stop shop which would provide a focus for the voluntary and community activities in Penwith, particularly targeted at helping the residents of Penzance East, Penzance Central and Penzance West wards.

Sue Guard, Director of the Penwith Community Development Trust said: "The voluntary and community sectors are expanding on a daily basis as the sector gains recognition for its work with the residents of Penwith. The demand for quality office accommodation and meeting space for community and voluntary groups has increased by over 300% during the 3 years it has taken to develop our ideas and secure the funding for this project."

Kate Groves, the IAP Facilitator who helped Sue Guard to access the Objective One funds said: "We are delighted that the Penwith Centre Phase 2 application has been successful in accessing Objective One funds. It is fair to say that the Objective One process is rigorous and requires a very high quality application. This does take considerable dedication and hard work on the part of the applicant but we are here to help community groups to cut through the jargon and red tape as much as possible."

Alex Bryce, Chair of the IAP Board said: "I am proud to announce this first successful project for the Penwith IAP and we look forward to more successful projects over the coming months. Anyone with a project idea which will help to increase prosperity for Cornwall, should contact the IAP team of Facilitators for further information on 01736 365651."

Cathy Michaels, Neighbourhood Renewal Fund Co-ordinator said: "This centre represents a co-ordinated approach to tackling the issues raised in the Neighbourhood Renewal agenda. It will provide a much needed facility in Penzance and offers a great opportunity for residents to really get involved and help shape the future."

Over the coming months, builders will be appointed and work will commence. The Penwith Centre refurbishment is expected to be completed by the Autumn 2003.

For further information contact:
Sue Guard, Penwith Community Development Trust
01736 330045

Kate Groves, Mounts Bay Facilitator, Penwith IAP
01736 365651

Alec Bryce, Chair of the IAP Board
01736 794143

Deborah Clark & Associates
01872 276276

Cathy Michaels, Neighbourhood Renewal Fund Co-ordinator
01736 336790 or 01209 614070

Richard Vanhinsbergh, Cornishman newspaper editor
01736 362247


Editors notes:

1. The Penwith IAP Team comprises a Programme Manager, an Office Assistant and three IAP Development Officers who are each responsible for covering the following geographical areas and act as a first point of contact for project ideas:

Mounts Bay Area - Kate Groves

Lands End Peninsula - Jonathan Julian

St Ives & Hayle - Kirsty Jones

2. Penwith’s IAP Team is funded by Objective One, the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council and Penwith District Council. The team are employed and managed by Rural Economic Partnership Ltd which is a subsidiary of Cornwall Enterprise, a local authority company controlled by Cornwall County Council.

3. The Penwith IAP Board was set up last year and includes 12 individuals with expertise in business, training, employment, the community / voluntary sector, the four community forums and Penwith District Council. The Board reviews the project applications prior to submission to the relevant funding agencies.


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