April 9, 2019

Porthleven Town Council will hold a consultation event concerning the future of the Bickford-Smith Institute on Saturday 20 April.
The news comes following work that has been done in conjunction with local heritage consultants, using funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

At the event residents and visitors will be able to view suggested future plans for the Institute that take into account the building’s original community use as well as the need for it to be financially sustainable in the future.
The plans will be available for viewing in the EPP Offices at 1 Chapel Terrace in Porthleven on Tuesday 16th April 5-7pm and Wednesday 17th April 11am – 2pm.
The full event will take place in the Caretaker’s Cottage of the Institute (the council offices – entrance by the beach) from 11am – 5pm. Members of the Working Party, including local councillors and heritage experts will be available to chat through the plans.

It will run alongside a re-showing of the Networks project – the story of the net makers of Porthleven, which is a wonderful example of the type of project that might use the building as a base in the future.
Following on from A Stitch in Time – Nets and Yarns, ‘The NetWorks’ Project demonstrates the value of participation and collective making in celebration of the net making industry and family heritage that’s unique to Porthleven.
The project aims to anchor the community firmly in the consultation and development of the Bickford Smith Institute as a central resource for all that transmits and receives local, historic, scientific fact and fictional narrative along with inclusive community need.

Heritage consultant Ian Saltern, has been project managing the current work. Ian is a cultural consultant with a range of contacts across the heritage, charity and grant sectors. He has developed and managed projects that have attracted over £6million of funding into Cornwall and was responsible for the bid which secured the funding to carry out this detailed work on the future of the Institute.

Ian says: “The restoration of the Bickford-Smith Institute will be a challenge. There are fewer funding opportunities available than there were ten years ago. This means that any programme to repair and reuse the building has to be flexible and innovative.

“The location of the Institute is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because of the spectacular views it affords, making it one of Cornwall’s most recognisable landmarks. A curse because of the impact of increasingly stormy weather and seas. Without intervention, the future of the Institute cannot be guaranteed.”

Kevin Brownridge of Perfect Moment has been delving into the figures both on the costs of the project and on the potential incomes of various options going forwards. The projected costs of the restoration project are now estimated at £2million. Kevin is an experienced consultant who specialises in developing business plans and business strategies for capital development projects ad new business ventures. He is a senior partner at Perfect Moment, a consultancy with office in London and Cornwall advising the voluntary and creative sectors on projects.

Chartered Architectural Technologist and working party member Chris Strike has spent numerous hours working pro bono to help draw up suggested new plans for the building. Director of RA Design in St Ives, Chris provides a full service including design, surveys and planning applications. Chris has led on a portfolio of new-build and restoration projects and his work recently featured on BBC 2’s Grand Designs.

Cllr Andrew Wallis, Mayor of Porthleven, said: “The Working Party and Town Council have looked at numerous options on what works financially for the future of the building as well as within the physical space available. We’ve based our recommendations and plans on the initial consultation we held back in 2016 where Porthleven residents told us they wanted to see the building brought back into community use and housing heritage projects; as well as on the need for future financial sustainability. We believe our recommended plan is the best one to meet these two key mandates.”


NetWorks Consultation publicity