New venue for Cornish heritage

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A new Cornish heritage and culture venue is to open in the former Penzance public library building.

The historic building in Morrab Road will celebrate Cornish and local history and culture, developing a vibrant programme of heritage activities for, and with, the community.

Cornish heritage in Penzance will be run by the charity Bewnans Kernow. Director Jane Howells explained: “Cornwall has lots of stories to tell – big histories which had global impact, and smaller events from this area which need to be remembered.

“Many people know about the past, through research or their own experience, and we want to preserve this information and to give people a platform to share it. We aim also to become a centre for research, uncovering new material and attracting academics to give talks and training.”

Cornish culture will feature strongly in activities.

“Our past projects have shown us that Cornish culture strengthens communities and brings people together,” said chairman Peter Sheldon. “And we hope to start a number of clubs including Cornish language and a Cornish wrestling club for young people.”

A number of fundraising activities are planned throughout the year to enable the development of Cornish Heritage in Penzance and its work.

The library building was built in 1889, as Penzance Mining and Science School and closed as a library in 2016 when the books were transferred to St John’s Hall. Since then, the building has been owned by Truro and Penwith College which has given the much-loved property a thorough renovation.

Cornish Heritage in Penzance will hold two Heritage Open Days on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29. People are invited to come along, to hear the plans, help shape the programmes and find out how to be involved.

For more information, to become part of the volunteering team or to make a donation please contact: admin@bewnanskernow.org or telephone 07984358264. On social media, Cornish Heritage in Penzance can be found on Twitter – @CornishCentrePz and Facebook – Cornish Heritage in Penzance.