I’m Heading Back to County Hall on Tuesday….. Read to Find Out Why!

Posted on: 20th May 2022

I’m heading back to County Hall on Tuesday….. Read on to find out why!

Carnyorth Outdoor Activity Centre

Carnyorth Outdoor Activity Centre

Well, despite a public consultation that gave overwhelming support for Carnyorth Outdoor Activity Centre and it’s value to Cornish Children, St Just Town Council discovered Monday night that Cornwall Council plan to sell it off for ‘development’.

This is how Cornwall Council Officers summarised the findings from the survey, regarding Carnyorth Centre, in making their recommendations for its future:

Recognising the enthusiasm from the local community and feedback from the consultation, the Council progresses option for letting a commercial tenancy on the open market to secure the future of the Carnyorth site as an ongoing centre for outdoor education.

With the support of Town Council (although Cornwall Council procedures would not allow me to be listed as Mayor of St Just) I am going back to County Hall on Tuesday to ask this question:

Public consultation demonstrated enthusiasm for Carnyorth Outdoor Centre to continue providing young people’s services; credible organisations want to run them. What have you/ will you do to ensure meaningful talks with those organisations to secure the future of Carnyorth Outdoor Activity Centre so Cornish young people can continue to benefit?

It might not be the best worded question BUT, they only allow you to submit 50 words!

We know there was interest to run it and whilst the Council had said selling it would be the last resort, the Cabinet (of 10 Conservative Councillors) appear be taking that option as the first and only option. They are about to find out WE ARE NOT HAPPY.

I will be able to ask a supplementary question, that I do not have to give notice of but I will have to finalise on my feet, depending on the answer given.

Town Council is also applying to have the building listed as an Asset of Community Value (sadly that has to be through Cornwall Council). If we achieve this, the sale will be halted for 6 months, to give our community time to raise the funds to buy it; I know that is a tall order BUT, one of the Academy Trusts might be able to do it.

This is the case I have formulated for the building to be registered as a Community Asset of Value:

Case for Carnyorth Outdoor Activity Centre Being Registered as a Community Asset

The building that the Carnyorth Outdoor Activity service runs from was built as the local village primary school in 1892, closing in 1970, with many local adults able to tell their stories of their time there. Since closing as a school, whilst the nature of the youth services running from it have evolved, most of the time there has been some form to climbing wall and residential aspects alongside a wide range of physical and environmental activities. It should also be noted that this typical school building is a significant feature of the Carnyorth Conservation Area.

Whilst it started life as the community school, it is now a community resource for Cornwall’s children and children from further afield. The history and resource this building provides alone should provide sufficient evidence that it merits registration as an Asset of Community Value. However, the Town Council reached out for any community testimonials there might be and was overwhelmed by the over 150 received. Some key statements that capture the essence and importance of it to the community are below but attached is a fuller summary (time does not allow all to be shared in detail).

The most repeated phrases from young people who have stayed at the Carnyorth Outdoor Activity Centre are “Thank You” and “It was the first time I …..”, with the young person describing an experience they had or a skill they learnt there that was clearly memorable and significant to their development.

“A place where you can achieve the impossible!” A young person’s comment that sums up the value of this community asset to the children of Cornwall and beyond further comments are shown in attached appendix.

We’ve attached an appendix of wonderful comments from young people, teachers and locals on what they got out of or why they regard the Centre as special.