Cornish village receives unlikely donation - from Dubai sheikh

A Cornish village fundraising to develop a community centre were helped out with a donation from an unlikely source - the Emir of Dubai.

Godolphin Cross, a village of 150 homes six miles from Hayle, hoped to purchase its Methodist Church which closed last April.

Residents decided to approach Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates.

They pointed out a link between their village and the Godolphin stables, which are run by the emir.

The horse-racing operation is named after the Godolphin Arabian, first bred in 1724, which takes the name of its best-known owner Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin.

The Emir of Dubai made a donation to Godolphin Cross. Credit: PA

According to Godolphin Cross Community Association chairman Richard McKie, the Dubai ruler replied to the approach by making a donation towards fundraising efforts.

Mr McKie compared the response to a "fairy tale".

He said: "These kinds of things don't normally happen.

"It's a fairy tale really. It's not often a sheikh steps in to help a Cornish village."

An offer on the chapel in the village has been verbally accepted, it is understood.

"We can't thank Sheikh Mohammed enough and we'd love to see him in this neck of the woods any time," Mr McKie added.

Sheikh Mohammed at Royal Ascot in 2011. Credit: PA