Causewayhead creative hub plans have caused a big stir


How the creative hub at Causewayhead would look.

19th May 2021

By Juliet Lunam

Plans for a creative industries hub at Causewayhead have caused a stir in the town.
Cornwall Council announced plans earlier this year for three new ‘workspace centres’ in Penzance, Liskeard and Hayle to provide studio spaces for creative industries from web designers to jewellery makers – similar to the Krowji building in Redruth.

In Penzance, a car park at the top of Causewayhead has been earmarked for the new £5.5 million building.
But the plans have caused upset among some residents who say the building is not in keeping with the area.

Some say Penzance is filled with empty buildings which could be used instead of building a new one while others believe the town needs different facilities and the money would be better spent elsewhere.
Many people have said the plans are not in keeping with the character of the area in design or size.

Roger Lowry, who lives on High Street, is one of those who has objected to the plans saying: “The size and design of this building is inappropriate and in the wrong place.

“It is on the junction of six roads, it will destroy the setting of a heritage site and it will remove parking spaces from the town centre where they are most needed.”

Mr Lowry said he feared there is wildlife in the area which will be disturbed. And he suggested there are plenty of other options, adding: “Sites are available to rent on the Long Rock Industrial Estate. At the bottom of Causewayhead there is a large building which has been empty for years and there is the Penlowarth building.

“The PZ Gallery on the sea front, owned by Cornwall Council, has had several failed attempts at development and would make a great attraction as a creative centre with a gallery to the south of the town and on the promenade.

“I feel there is no need for the development in Causewayhead car park – it is the wrong building in the wrong place.”

Len and Jaimie Ashley live and work 30 metres from the car park.

They said: “If this three-storey building is built our natural light and our business would be affected.
“We cannot understand why the council wants to build ultra modern buildings in a conservation area and over a 17th century reservoir.  In the short time since it was proposed 1,400 people objected to it and we think if we did not have the lockdown there would be a lot more against it.”

Penzance councillor Tim Dwelly spoke to the Penzance Voice to address the concerns and said the project will in fact revitalise the Causewayhead area.

He said: “Penzance is the town in the heart of a nationally recognised area for creative businesses.
“We’re awash with amazing small firms from film makers to photographers and theatre companies – I could go on and on.

“It’s a really important part of the west Cornwall economy but until now there has been no headquarters for it.

“The funds for this project were only available for workspaces, not for anything else. Much as I understand we have many other needs, these funds were never going to be available for other things. I’m delighted we’ve got significant investment for Penzance and this is going to revitalise the area by having people spending money in the nearby shops, cafes and restaurants.

“It will create a buzz around the local businesses nearby at the top of Causewayhead which is often the quieter end.

“It’s going to be the most low carbon building in the town – powered by solar power and we will encourage people to travel to work by bike with cycle facilities on site. We have checked the other car parks nearby can cope with the loss of spaces and we’re looking at putting in more disabled spaces and a safer crossing.

“It’s a brownfield site and there were no other buildings in the town big enough or available.

“I fully appreciate there are people who find change like this worrying but it is simply not true most people are against it; lots of people are in favour and there were more comments in support than against.”