Jubilee Pool Penzance

Penzance Jubliee Pool taps into warm water ‘geothermal vein’

Penzance Jubliee Pool taps into warm water ‘geothermal vein’

A project to heat Penzance’s iconic Jubliee swimming pool has virtually struck gold. Geothermal Engineering Limited have drilled a well to 410 metres deep and successfully found a warm water ‘geothermal vein’. The water at this depth was much hotter than expected at almost 30 degrees Centigrade. The system will now be developed so that a section of the pool can be enjoyed all year round providing a wonderful resource for residents and visitors alike.

The successful drill concludes the first part of the scheme and will now allow the project to develop the integrated system that should see the public bathing in the hot water section of the pool during 2019. This project is a very important part of a wider aim by Geothermal Engineering Limited to prove the viability of geothermal energy in Cornwall and follows last week’s start of drilling at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Energy Project near Redruth.

The drilling was logistically challenging as it was in the town centre and the well reached a depth of 410 metres, equivalent to one and a half Eiffel Towers, or just 10 metres less than Brown Willy (Bron Wennili) which stands at 420m. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Geothermal Engineering Ltd.

“We are delighted that we have hit the hot water vein. It is warmer than expected and capable of yielding much more geothermal energy than planned. We can now work with the Jubilee Pool team to deliver an amazing, sustainable facility for local residents and tourists alike. The drilling has been completed and we would very much like to thank all the local residents for their patience and co-operation.” Said Ryan Law Managing Director of GEL.

The Jubilee Pool is a celebrated Art Deco lido on Penzance Promenade that was first opened in 1935, the year of King George V’s silver jubilee. When faced with dereliction of even closure, the local community formed the Friends of Jubilee Pool and have put the pool back in pride of place in the town.

Jubilee Pool has recently raised over £500k via a community share offer towards the £1.8m project to construct a new heated section of the pool, double the size of the cafe and create new community space, this will now allow the pool to open all year round from spring 2019. Further funding has been sourced from the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Co-operative Community Investment Foundation.

One of the directors of Jubilee Pool, Martin Nixon commented “My brother Charles initially suggested that we should heat a section of the pool with geothermal energy over eight years ago, so I’m thrilled to see his fantastic idea move ever closer to reality. I’m confident it will be a hugely popular attraction, and that the resulting economic benefits to Penzance will be significant.”

Picture by Mike Newman

helicopter penzance

New helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly

Island Helicopters is the new helicopter service from Land’s End Airport to the Isles of Scilly

The new helicopter service will start in May 2018 and will operate year-round, with up to 8 flights a day, six days a week.

Island Helicopters is operated by Gloucester-based Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) in partnership with the Isles of Scilly Travel (part of Isles of Scilly Steamship Group), using a brand new 10-seater AW169 helicopter.

SAS have more than 30 years’ experience in the helicopter industry.

Island Helicopters complements the existing air and sea links to the Isles of Scilly, bringing more choice, flexibility and capacity to the transport network – something everyone wants to see.

The Steamship Company was founded almost 100 years ago to foster the prosperity and wellbeing of the communities. Island Helicopters is the latest chapter in that mission.

Tickets will go on sale in April 2018 on the website,  and travel centres on 01736 334220.

Fares will start from £215 for a return ticket.

car park penzance

Parking changes in Penzance will see evening charges scrapped

A number of parking charges that will soon be brought into force in Penzance will see evening parking charges scrapped in the majority of car parks, but it’s not all good news as some day rates will be on the rise.

Cornwall Council has announced that from April 1, it will scrap evening parking charges in all of its 146 car parks across the county from Torpoint to Penzance.

The parking changes have come about as part of a full review of parking charges and the way people can pay for parking.

When public parking consultations were held as part of the review, it was the lack of evening parking that was causing concern.

The leader of Cornwall Council Adam Paynter said: “In last year’s Town Parking Review, residents raised concerns about the lack of availability of on-street parking at night.

“Since then we have also heard from businesses and Cornwall councillors who have asked us to consider abolish evening parking charges to help support local economies.”

The announcement comes alongside a number of other parking changes for Cornwall, including reducing parking rates for regular car park users and standardising seasonal parking tariffs.

It will mean that each evening you will be able to park for free in any of Cornwall Council’s car parks.

The definition of “evening” changes depending on which car park you are in, so you will need to check at the specific car park you choose, but times will start from 4pm onwards.

No matter where you find yourself spending the evening in Cornwall, there is a wide range of car parks to choose from.

In fact across the county the council owns almost 150 different car parks.

While evening parking charges will be scrapped, day time charges in some areas will be hiked up for the summer season.

Day time seasonal parking charges, which run in the summer months between April 1 and October 31 will be standardised in the “most congested areas”.

This means that council car parks in the busiest areas, including Falmouth, Newquay, Penzance and St Ives, will all be put at the same rate – with the charges in some of the car parks in those towns rising.

The council said it is proposing to set tariffs at £1.50 per hour and up to £8 to park for 24 hours – but some of the car parks in the towns affected currently only charge £1 per hour and will see a rise of 50p.


Mousehole in UK Village of the Year disappointment at loss in Channel 4 show semi final

Disappointment was probably the main feeling last night in Cornwall as the winners of Channel 4’s semi finals of the Village of the Year were announced.

Two Cornish villages were still in the competition to be named the country’s best village and win £10,000: Mousehole and Polperro.

Yet, although they are loved by locals and attract thousands of tourists each year, their stunning harbours, beautiful streets and lovely people did not seem to be enough for Penelope Keith and the TV show’s three judges to make it through the finals.

Channel 4’s team of judges, which included Juliet Sargeant, archaeologist and village historian Alex Langlands, and fashion designer Patrick Grant, preferred other villages including Beer in Devon.

The decision left residents disappointed.

Both villages were whittled down from 400 applicants and each beat three other villages in their heat to reach the semi final.

Community life, local colour and eccentricity were all assessed as the Channel 4 crew guided viewers through what it is like to be a resident in each village.

The visit to the west Cornwall village featured the 80-strong Mousehole Male Voice Choir and the bond between them, forager Rachel Lambert picking seaweed on the beach and assistant harbour master Bill Johnson on the village’s fishing heritage.

This is where celebrities from the worlds of music, TV and film have homes in Cornwall

Sue Bosworth, who represents Mousehole on Penzance Town Council, said at the time that she believed the Cornish beauty spot, famous for its seasonal lights display, was sure to wow the judges.

“It is a beautiful place but it is more than that,” she told the Western Morning News. “It is very welcoming and there is a real sense of community. There is a lot of community effort, with the Christmas lights and so on.”

In Mousehole, locals have shown their passion and pride for their village.

The population of 640 villagers doubles during popular holiday periods, however villagers say the sense of community last all year round.

Centre manager, Tamsin Harvey, grew up in the village and is proud to be giving her children a Mousehole upbringing as well.

“Mousehole is still a vibrant hub with a strong community and is busy all year round,” she told Cornwall Live on Friday.

“It’s a great place to live and grow up – the school, which is a great school, has a waiting list and there are a lot more opportunities here now.

“Now because we have the community hall here it’s even better, so we’ve got lots of events. It’s just a great place to live.”

plastic free penzance

Penzance helps inspire other towns to achieve plastic free status appearing on BBC’s The One Show

Popular BBC prime-time show The One Show headed to Penzance recently to visit the plastic free warriors that helped the area gain the first Plastic Free Town status in the whole of the UK.

Since the accolade was announced Penzance has become an inspiration for towns and villages across the country, all eager to get involved with the eco-friendly scheme.

One such place is the village of Aberporth, which hoped to become the first town in Wales to achieve Plastic Free status.

To help business owners in the village on their journey to ditching single use plastics, The One Show brought them to Penzance to speak to the people leading the way.

Staff from Archie Browns Health Food Shop and Vegetarian Café, Fraser’s Fish and Chips, The Granary and The Tube coffee van spoke to The Ones Show reporter Lucy Siege about their plastic-free experiences so far and shared advice and tips with the Aberporth visitors.

It was only a few months ago that St Agnes based charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) first launched the now coveted Plastic Free Town status as part of its Plastic Free Coastlines initiative.

The status is only given to towns that meet a number of criteria laid out by the charity to help slash the amount of plastic waste output.

A total of 17 businesses in Penzance jumped on board with the scheme pulling together to swap plastics for more sustainable and eco-friendly items, and in December 2017 it was officially announced that the town had done enough to achieve its goal.

Presenter Alex Jones said: “They did learn quite a lot from Penzance as it happens as there has since been good news.”

At the end of the shows segment, which aired on BBC One at 7pm on Monday January 24, it was announced that Aberporth had indeed managed to become the first town in Wales to gain Plastic Free status.

Fears over future of NHS in Cornwall bring hundreds to pack public meeting at St John’s Hall in Penzance

Hundreds of people in west Cornwall concerned with the future of the NHS packed a public meeting to vow to take the fight to the Government.

The spirited meeting was attended by about 200 people in to St John’s Hall, Penzance, to discuss the current issues threatening the NHS.

Scores of others took to social media before the meeting to apologise for their absence, while others voiced their support after as it was overwhelmingly demanded that a protest would soon follow.

“Our NHS is on the verge of melt down,” said Andrew George, the former Liberal Democrat MP who organised the meeting.

St John’s Hall in Penzance was packed out as it staged a meeting to discuss how to ‘Save the NHS’

“We can all see that our hardworking NHS staff are seriously overstretched with ambulances queuing, trolley waits extending, operations cancelled and services at breaking point.

“Having yet another reorganisation is not an answer to these problems.
“Nor does it help for government ministers and Conservative MPs to constantly re-announce grand-sounding but completely inadequate spending commitments, a blizzard of misleading numbers on doctor and nurse recruitment and to attempt to bewilder the public with meaningless management babble.”

Also at the meeting speaking on the panel with Mr George was Malcolm Stewart, the clinical director at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, and Neil Walden, a local GP.

Marna Blundy, of West Cornwall Healthwatch campaign group, also gave a passionate speech about Cornwall standing up for the NHS, while Unite union regional officer Stuart Roden and Councillor Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for health and social care, completed the panel.
It was broadly accepted during the meeting that local health mangers and Cornwall Council were doing all they could to “make the best of the inadequate budget” provided by the Government.

Mr George told the audience that they deserved to have their voice heard but said it was “clearly pointless” to depend on local Conservative MPs who he says are “content with the Government’s gradual winding down of the NHS”.
He added that the current MP for West Cornwall, Derek Thomas, declined an inviation to attend the meeting.

Mr Thomas has told Cornwall Live that, as far as he was concerned, party politics should be put to one side if the challenges facing social care services and the NHS were to be adequately addressed.

He said: “I’m committed to this and join over 90 MPs including Lib Dem Norman Lamb MP calling for an NHS and Care Convention to be set up in what is the NHS’ 70th year.

“There is no doubt that more money is needed. However, it is untrue to claim that NHS Kernow faces £270 million cuts.
“There is no hope for a constructive discussion about the NHS if some continue to peddle this information purely for political gain.”

He stressed that over the same period Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are set to receive a £142 million increase in their allocation.
As well as this, he said, while referring to NHS England data, that Cornwall received more than £1.5 million to assist with winter pressures.
Mr George added: “That’s why the meeting resolved to cut through the deliberate fog of uncertainty, bewildering management changes and mild management babble to take a fight to the Government.

“To campaign for the money which is desperately needed to bring our NHS up to a level equivalent to comparable developed countries in Europe and elsewhere.”

A plethora of subjects currently being experienced by the NHS were discussed by the panel and audience.

These ranged from concerns over the fate of community hospitals, hospital beds, a claimed £100 million local NHS debt and troubled mental health services.

Matters of overstretched staff and services, the potential risks of a reorganisation of the service and recent proposals to move radiotherapy from the Sunrise Centre at Truro to Plymouth were also debated, as were high numbers of cancelled operations and the uncertain future of Cornwall’s minor injury units and more.
The main discussion point was said to be the “inadequate NHS budget” and financial pressures.

The meeting took a vote and overwhelmingly vowed to “take the fight to Government”, including pressure to “put patients before profit” while supporting frontline staff.

Read full story here.