Porthleven Town Council have set up a Working Party to look at possible future uses and financing of this for the Bickford-Smith Institute, the iconic clocktower on the harbour.
Thanks to money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cornwall Council and Porthleven Town Council, the Working Party were able to form a plan for restoring the Bickford-Smith Institute and bringing it back into Community use.
“Suzie’s work showed a clear understanding of the history of the building as well as a thorough appreciation of the proposals to repurpose it. This knowledge was woven into a clearly defined story that enabled visitors to engage with the heritage of the Bickford-Smith Institute, understand the need for something to be done, and to have a clear insight into the aims of the Working Party to restore the building. I have no doubt that the clarity of the story that Suzie crafted impacted positively on the overall understanding of what the Working Party are trying to achieve and the plans, opportunities and challenges ahead.” – Ian Saltern, Project Manager and Heritage Consultant and Project Manager.
The brief was to engage the community of Porthleven via a communication and PR campaign and consultation event, sharing the plans and seeking feedback on them. This involved crafting a compelling story of both the heritage of the building and the work that had taken place so far, as well as the proposed plans and the financial and cultural reasoning.
The public consultation event took place over the Easter weekend in 2019 (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April). It provided the community with a greater level of detail about the proposed redevelopment and introduced ideas which had been formulated during the delivery of the Resilient Heritage project, including:
- The proposed digital heritage interpretation space
- -The redesigned office space for the Town Clerk
- -The glass ceiling within the clock tower and the proposed public access
- -The proposed studio let
- -The plans for making the Institute available as a wedding venue
A series of detailed interpretation boards were also produced for the event which provided a history of the Institute and an update on the delivery of the Resilient Heritage project. Members of the Institute Working Group, the Project Mentor Kevin Brownridge and the Project Manager Ian Saltern were all in attendance to answer the public’s questions. The latest plans produced by local architect and Working Group member Chris Strike were also made available.
The event attracted well over 100 people and elicited 43 written comments of which 86% were wholly supportive of the plans for the building.