Heartlands reaches magic 100,000
Cornwall’s first free Cultural Playground celebrates exceeding visitor target numbers in first three months of opening
Heartlands Cornwall, the new free visitor attraction and World Heritage Site Gateway based in Pool near Redruth is today celebrating a significant milestone, welcoming its 100,000th visitor to site just three months after opening.
Heartlands has footfall counters at each of its gateways to calculate visitor numbers, and the lucky 100,000th visitor was identified by staff today (Tuesday) as Helen Suffolk from Brighton who received a special certificate, goody bag and a bottle of Camel Valley champagne from Malcolm Moyle the Chair of the Heartlands Trust. Helen was joined by her husband Julian and three children, Holly, Eadie and Martha.
Heartlands opened to the world on 20 April 2012 with a three-day celebration party. The attraction is based at Robinson’s Shaft which was once derelict mine land until £35 million funding, provided by at £22.3m grant from Big Lottery Fund, and additional funding from the Homes and Communities Agency, Cornwall Council and the European Union (through the Convergence programme), allowed transformation to occur.
The Heartlands development (led by Cornwall Council) took just over four years to complete, with neglected and abandoned buildings restored and new spaces introduced. This led to the creation of a mix of uses for the site including World Heritage Site exhibitions, art and craft studios, botanical gardens, adventure playground, café, water features and buildings to hire for weddings and functions.
Projected visitor numbers for Heartlands were 230,000 in the first year of business. It is hoped this new 19 acre cultural space will support the regeneration of Pool, Redruth and Camborne – an area containing over 10% of the Cornish population which has struggled to recover from the closure of the tin and copper mines (and related industries).
Malcolm Moyle, Chair of the Heartlands Trust said:
“We have had an unbelievable first few months at Heartlands. We didn’t really know what would happen until we opened those gates, but we are so pleased that people near and far have come along here to Pool and taken our beautiful site to their hearts. We’ve still a lot to do and a lot to achieve but thanks to all the hard work of our small team here we’re making some wonderful steps. I look forward very much to Heartlands growing and making people smile for generations to come.”
Mark Cotton, Big Lottery Fund’s Head of the South West region, said:
“This is a fantastic milestone for Heartlands, just a few months after opening, and shows how local people and visitors alike are really embracing this attraction and enjoying all the new facilities and events on offer.”
Heartlands is run as a social enterprise by the charity, the Heartlands Trust. In its first three months it has hosted some large scale events including the Flame Festival which saw 15,000 people attend the attraction in one day. School groups and coach parties have also been regular guests to Heartlands.
With a packed events programme, Heartlands is currently taking bookings for a special Last Night of the Proms on 25 August by the Mount Charles Brass Band, and a Jazz Picnic on 26 August with Jools Holland Jam House Resident Roger Bird and his band. Other events in the future include an Urban Festival on 1-2 September and a Kite Festival at the end of September.
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