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Projects show Helston is 'up and coming town'
3:00pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in Cornwall
Helston is becoming one of Cornwall’s “most exciting up and coming towns,” according to its town centre manager.
Jonathan Birkett has made the claim in his report that will be presented to Helston Town Council when it meets tomorrow, Thursday. He has put together a review of the last six months since he was appointed to the post of town manager, in March this year.
Mr Birkett said the projects set up by Helston in the last six months, in particular developing the Helston Town Centre Improvement Partnership, had been recognised outside the town.
He has told councillors: “We have come a long way in such a short period of time. To have a formally elected board of directors, with five groups which support a membership of over 140 businesses and community groups – and in just six months – is an incredible achievement.
“Our Town Team has also achieved national recognition for our positive work and is now at the forefront of the town centre high street regeneration.
“Most importantly we have succeeded in creating a partnership that shows the community that Helston Town Council and the businesses of Helston are committed to working together.”
He said this was something everyone involved, “should all be very proud of.”
Looking to the future, Mr Birkett said the improvement partnership now needed to communicate better, with its website going live, as well as plan for Christmas and look at how to raise funds.
In his report Mr Birkett has also looked at the success of some of the projects in the town, including Flower Power – the scheme to improve the look of Helston with hanging baskets over the summer. He considered it an overall success, with an increase of just a few lamppost baskets to a display of more than 100 hanging baskets. However, he believed it could be done better next year, with issues over hanging the baskets and buying suitable brackets delaying the project by over six weeks. To stop this from happening again, next year the baskets needed to be ordered in February/March and put up in April/May to give a full season show. Other plans include making smaller baskets, window boxes and ground pots available so that more traders can be involved, as well as entering Britain and Bloom. Mr Birkett also spoke of the need to put each element of the project out to tender. While suffering a few teething problems, as previously reported in the Packet, Mr Birkett described August’s Midsummer Markets in Meneage Street as an overall success, adding: “This project achieved its objectives and against the odds was a credit to the HBIP organisation and the town council.”
Before next year’s summer markets there would be a review of location and frequency and trading hours, with more and different stalls each week, children’s entertainment and improved general entertainment, he added.