What’s been happening?
Following the purchase of the old Bonham’s building in January 2015, a group of volunteers did a big clean-up inside the building. Some consultation, including an open day, was then carried out with residents and local organisations to identify how the building might be used to benefit the community. The results of this and the fact that a new home for the local library was needed, led to the preparation of plans that would turn the old building into a vibrant community hub which would include the provision of a library and a community café
Contractors were then engaged to remove the ceilings so that the roof structural steelwork could be surveyed. The state of the electric cabling was found to be so poor that it had to be disconnected and a temporary supply installed.
Time was then spent obtaining planning permission and preparing a bid to the Reaching Communities Fund. This was unfortunately unsuccessful. Then one of the main elements of the plans came into question – the provision of a café. Since the initial consultation was carried out and plans drawn up, a number of new cafes/eateries opened in the area reducing the need for another. If we forged ahead with our original plans, it might have a negative impact on these other local businesses.
Following these events and a long period of negotiation with Cornwall Council on the arrangements for running a full library service, it became apparent that it would be unviable to continue with the original proposals for the building.
A rethink was needed! It was decided that rather than trying to create a general community centre (of which there are already a number in the area) a theme was needed around which uses could be clustered. This would give the building a clear identity and help attract people to it. The theme of ‘creativity’ was chosen
A Creative Hub
We aim to convert the former Bonham’s auction house in Par into a creative hub. The vision includes providing:
- Affordable studio spaces.
- A creative environment to share learning, stimulate ideas and encourage collaborative working.
- Tutored classes available for a range of age groups and skill levels in a wide variety of ‘creative’ disciplines.
- Workshop/classroom space for hire, especially if the activities involve some form of creativity.
- Space to hire for general meetings and training sessions.
- A micro library and free public access computer.
- Home for a job club and other training programmes to help upskill local people.
A Creative Hub will give Par, St Blazey and Tywardreath something that can be a focus for engagement, inspiration, personal development and opportunity for local people. It will provide local artisans & social entrepreneurs with affordable studio space – something that is lacking in Mid-Cornwall. The Creative Hub will also use creative workshops to inspire, motivate and develop people all of ages and abilities, helping to break-down barriers, reduce social isolation and build confidence. We hope it will become something the residents will become proud of.
Before any money is spent on refurbishing the building and making it fit-for-purpose, further work is needed to ‘evidence need’ and confirm the feasibility of the idea. This will be done over the coming months through consultation with the local artisans and social entrepreneurs to confirm their needs, and by undertaking wider public consultation to ascertain the views of people who live in Par , St Blazey and Tywardreath.
How you can help?
If you live in the Par Bay Big Local area(most of the PL24 area) we would welcome your thoughts on our idea of establishing a Creative Hub. Please click here and take a few moments to complete our public questionnaire. Thank you.
If you earn (or hope to earn) an income from a creative discipline, we would welcome your thoughts on the benefits of a Creative Hub to you. Please click here and take a few moments to complete our artisan questionnaire. Thank you.
If you are a social or voluntary organisation that is based or works in the area, we would be interested in your views of our proposals and their relevance to your organisation. Please click here and take a few moments to complete our stakeholder questionnaire. Thank you.
Watch this space and our facebook page for details of upcoming consultation events planned for later in 2017.
If you would like to contact us to discuss any aspect of the planned Creative Hub, please write in the first instance to Par Bay Community Trust, 31 Eastcliffe Road, Par, PL24 2AQ or email email@example.com