Thursday, 13 September 2012

New developments

Last week I attended the opening of the new housing development at Trevu Road opposite the train station in Camborne. I think it is a great illustration of what can be achieved if people work together to overcome their differences and focus on what can be done rather than what can't be done. The development is a wonderful amalgamation of the old and the new, is unique and distinctive, a great place to live and the work has been done sensitively and celebrates the history of this old Holman’s site.

I have always been clear that I favour the development of brown field sites over green field sites in the Camborne, Redruth and Hayle area. We need to find ways of rejuvenating our towns and that means taking on difficult, derelict sites in the centre and finding a way to bring them back into use, not just leaving them to one side and going for the easy option of urban sprawl on the outskirts of towns. That’s why I got behind the harbour scheme in Hayle and the new road at Tuckingmill.

Next week, the Cornwall Council Cabinet will make its decision regarding the location of the new Cornwall Archive and Records Centre. This is an exciting project which will bring together all of Cornwall’s old records as well as some ancient manuscripts in one place. Redruth is the obvious location for the new Cornwall Archive and the Town Council has been working on some really creative proposals that would see the complete regeneration of the old brewery site in town.

Redruth is at the heart of the world wide Cornish diaspora which numbers some 8 million people. Of the people who emigrated from Cornwall in the late 19th century to take mining around the world, around a quarter came from Redruth alone. The town is already the county’s cultural heart and is home to initiatives like the Cornish Migration Project, the Cornwall Studies Library and Murdoch House so it makes sense to build on this.

However, last week, one advisory committee in County Hall suggested that the project should be based in St Austell apparently on the basis that the car park on which they propose to build it might be easier and involve less effort. We should not accept such complacency. The Cornish Archive will only happen if the project is able to attract the support of agencies like the Heritage Lottery Fund and EU regeneration funds and Redruth makes a far more powerful proposition than St Austell. We need a beautiful building that restores and celebrates our heritage, not a soulless building on some car park on the outskirts of St Austell. We need to be imaginative and ambitious for Cornwall, so let’s build it in Redruth.

George Eustice can be contacted at george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.