• Be social

Cornwall Council works with the Falmouth community to safeguard Princess Pavilion

Cornwall Council has pledged to support the Falmouth community in securing the long-term future of Princess Pavilion and Gyllyngdune Gardens.

As part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, it agreed outline plans last year to devolve Princess Pavilion and its gardens which are currently run by the leisure provider GLL.

Falmouth Town Council is holding detailed talks with local stakeholders and developing a joint business case to safeguard the future of Princess Pavilion for Falmouth.

Cornwall Council will transfer Princess Pavilion and Gyllyngdune Gardens to be used in line with an agreed business case.

Princess Pavilion has been closed since March due to Government Covid restrictions which has made it unviable to be open currently.

Cornwall Councillor Mike Eathorne-Gibbons, Cabinet member with oversight of the leisure agreement between the Council and GLL, said: “We recognise Princess Pavilion is an incredibly important asset in supporting the vibrant community of Falmouth and we will do everything we can to support its preservation. We are prioritising work to support a local partnership approach and we are working closely with the community so a viable plan can be established for the site as soon as possible. This site is of high priority in our devolution programme and we are meeting regularly with Falmouth Town Council who are seeking to work collectively with a community group in going forwards. We welcome a business plan being submitted from the community and our officers are supporting with supplying information relating to the site.”

Falmouth Town Mayor Steve Eva said: “The Town Council recognises the essential cultural importance of the Pavilion and Gardens to our community. We were already discussing the transfer of Gyllyngdune Gardens with Cornwall Council and the current situation means we have widened that to include the Princess Pavilion as well. There is overwhelming community support for this so we have requested that the transfers become a priority in the community asset transfer programme. We are preparing a business plan in consultation with the community and a range of stakeholders. We are hopeful that we can open the Gyllyngdune Gardens as soon as possible, and I received a petition from residents recently requesting that. Our gardeners are currently on site bringing it back to its usual high standard. Cornwall Council have committed to transfer the Pavilion and I hope this can be done as quickly as possible to enable us to reopen the site.”

James Curry, Head of Service for GLL in Cornwall, said: “As a social enterprise, we have always understood how precious the Princess Pavilion is to people living in Falmouth and the local area. Our team worked very hard to make it a lively and viable venue and we were all very sorry when, due to the pandemic, we had to close its doors in March. Discussions have been ongoing in the last few months about the Princess Pavilion’s future viability and we welcome the opportunity to consult with other local stakeholders going forward.”