Two extracts from Jude Robinsons blog
Heartlands the hugely successful, lottery funded community regeneration project that is heaving during events and always busy when I go there but if it’s raining, we tend to go inside to the cafe or interactive museums.
January 8, 2014
There are even people who object to Heartlands, a fantastic place that has transformed a derelict area, engaged thousands of local people, shows off the amazing history and spirit here and is a fun place for us all to go.
September 12, 2012.
Then last weeks West Briton
Jobs lost as troubled lottery attraction fights to stay afloat
Heartlands, which opened in 2012, was the culmination of a 15 year campaign to breathe new life into an area blighted by the decline of tin mining.
The signs were initially good, with stronger than expected visitor numbers and largely positive reviews. However, this masked a parlous financial situation created, in part, by an over optimistic business plan for the attraction’s first few years. For example, it was initially thought the onsite memorabilia shop would generate an income of £200,000, while the reality is that it pulls in only a tenth of that.
Mr O’Neill said that to satisfy the terms of its lottery funding, Heartlands must endure more 40 years. “If the trust ends up failing there is the possibility that some or all of the funding may have to be repaid,” he said. “The possibility does exist.”
Perhaps a less costly, locally inspired and run project without lots of spin and hype might have been a better option after all!