We only just noticed this blog from Tim Williams (former CEO of the CPRUDC). Yes we know, it just backs up the perception that we are a little bit behind the times!
Heartlands, west Cornwall: renewal in action
So what did we learn from Tim?
Essentially, it went through post-industrial dislocation from a high value engineering economy at the peak of the mining boom in the 19th through de-population and depression in which many of the more talented and entrepreneurial left for more ebullient economies in Australia and beyond.
Now if this had been written in say the 1950s then fine. But a little searching reveals the population of the area has been rising for years! Each census since 1951 has recorded a higher population.
What was missing in the Camborne Pool Redruth area for decades was much new private investment in housing, some new higher value jobs and an imaginative, iconic, project, perhaps respecting the area’s history whilst looking forward.
Lets take these one by one!
Housing. Oh lets look at the figures. Odd since 1981 the number of private dwellings has gone up by 50% – well not much is it!
Jobs. Probably right there Tim but you see we had a hard job (whoops a pun), keeping up with the rise in jobseekers as that population went up!
Iconic project. Aha. Yes that favourite of the regeneration people. Something big and catchy! (Tim means Heartlands of course!). Lets return to that later.
The area is not on the coast … and thus did not immediately appeal to second home buyers or residential developers.
Residential developers (see above) but no appeal to second home buyers! That is tragic! If only a bit closer to the coast Camborne-Redruth would be like err Padstow with a third of the houses not used by residents and locals moved out somewhere else!
The community like many in the UK had also got into a bit of a rut in relation to change from without and tended to say no to development whilst wanting to see renewal and new jobs.
Always saying no to development. Thats it. Which is why the the A30 was not bypassed in the 1970s; thats why all that farmland to the north of Redruth was never developed as an industrial estate; thats why no large retail outlets were built at Pool; and of course no new (private) housing estates appeared. Thats why the amount of land developed since 1960 did not increase threefold!
Oh and Heartlands – we all know its about tidying up Pool (or place-shaping in the New Labour Parlance) – to create a nice vista for the new apartment owners who will reside on the adjacent land!