An Evolving Project
What began in 2013 as an Oyster Sculpture proposal triggered a broader debate concerning regeneration of Falmouth Harbourside including year-round provision of disability access from The Prince of Wales Pier to the waterside
Cornwall Council and Falmouth Town Council planning policies, community consultation initiatives and other relevant studies have demonstrated a desire for regeneration of neglected parts of the town consistent with its maritime heritage
The European Native “Fal Oyster” has been adopted as a symbol of Falmouth’s ‘maritime assets’. The Prince of Wales Pier has a long history of providing a link from land to one of the largest and deepest natural harbours in the world.
Ideas being considered by the Falmouth Harbourside Plan Team, for regeneration of the pier and its associated infrastructure, have the potential to improve the aesthetic quality of the Harbourside Area, whilst increasing footfall and revenue for local businesses, for Falmouth Town Council, Cornwall Council and Falmouth Harbour Commission.
A world class, weather-protected link bridge, providing gently-sloping access at low tide to a floating pontoon, would encourage commercial boat operators to invest in state of the art low carbon alternatives to diesel power. Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) – compliant facilities on the pier, would also benefit cyclists, parents with pushchairs, and people carrying heavy items
Cornwall College Students from the Camborne Campus helped create a 1/8th scale model of The Oyster Sculpture designed by Andrew Nicholls and adopted to provide the project with identity. The sculpture model is located in the foyer of Falmouth Marine School
The project comprises a number of phases and options:
- Upgrading the commercial boat and ferry terminal at The Prince of Wales Pier to incorporate safe, weather-protected access for passengers with disability, parents with push chairs and cyclists whilst also providing safe access for the hosting of harbour-based events and activities
- Improving revenue from the pier to cover the cost of maintenance, repair and depreciation by considering the refurbishment or replacement of existing buildings and structures e.g. the cafe, public toilets, shop and tourist office, whilst providing an improved visual approach to the pier.
- Introducing new identity for the pier to provide the potential for it and the revised building to act as a hub and destination point for a wide range of community-based cultural, educational, business and visitor activities, all of which would increase footfall and generate additional income, whilst reinforcing a sense of place for the town and its connection with the harbour.