Pendennis Headland and old leisure centre sold to Falmouth Town Council for just £1

A view of Pendennis Headland Credit: Cornwall Council

A former leisure centre and headland in Cornwall have been sold for £1.

The Ships and Castles leisure centre building and the wider Pendennis Headland have been transferred from Cornwall Council to Falmouth Town Council for a nominal fee.

Following the closure of the centre last year, the two authorities began discussions about the future of the building and the headland.

Pendennis Headland is rich in military history spanning over 450 years through successive periods of threat that have seen improvements to the site’s fortifications.

More recently the headland has become home to the Falmouth Coastguard Station, which is critical to marine safety in the North East Atlantic. 

The green spaces are home to wildlife and a favourite with locals, as is Pendennis Point where the car park will also transfer to Falmouth Town Council.

Carol Mould, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods at Cornwall Council, said: “Transferring appropriate services and sites into community control is a key part of this deal and demonstrates the Council’s commitment towards enabling vibrant, safe and supportive communities.

“Everyone has been working very hard behind the scenes to transfer ownership of this locally important beautiful part of Cornwall to Falmouth Town Council for the benefit of the community. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for the site.”

Falmouth Town Council has also been working closely with the Pendennis Leisure charity to ensure the former swimming pool remains at the heart of the deal for the long-term benefit of the local community.

As part of the devolution deal, the charity is entering into a 125-year lease with Falmouth Town Council for the Ships and Castles site.

While Pendennis Leisure wants to reopen the centre in the short term, their long-term aim is to build a 25m pool and multifunctional activity centre on the site.

Mayor Kirstie Edwards, on behalf of Falmouth Town Council, said: “Last year, following the closure of the Ships and Castles leisure centre and the uncertainty regarding the future of the wider Pendennis Headland, Falmouth Town Council were given a very clear mandate by the people of Falmouth to secure the beautiful Pendennis Headland and its heritage for the benefit of all, for ever.

"Today we are delighted to say that we have achieved this. Our sincere thanks go to everyone who has worked so hard on this deal on behalf of the community of Falmouth."

Gemma Adams, a Pendennis Leisure trustee said they are "thrilled" that the community has secured the headland.

"It is a historic moment, and we are massively grateful to the teams in Falmouth and Cornwall Councils who have made this possible," she said.

"Even though the old swimming pool is no longer functional, we will be opening the doors again as soon as possible for a wide range of other community uses and are focused on getting Falmouth the leisure facility it needs and deserves for the long term.”

Councillor Jude Robinson, who, as chair of Falmouth Town Council’s Finance & General Purpose committee, played a key role in securing the final deal said she is "relieved and proud" about the deal.

She added: "We believe in Pendennis Leisure’s vision of a new pool and activity centre for the people of Falmouth and the surrounding areas and will do all we can to help them."

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