Local surf retailer Ann’s Cottage has vowed to help a trio of Cornish beaches regain their Blue Flag status.
The Blue Flag symbol is a recognised symbol of quality and beach cleanliness, and one that has been flown at Polzeath, Gyllyngvase and Porthtowan for over a decade.
Not this year, however. With pressure on the public purse, the Council deemed the £820 inspection fee to be too costly, leaving the beach at Carbis Bay – which is owned by the Carbis Bay Hotel – as the only beach in Cornwall to fly the Blue Flag.
Rob Harris, who has been at the helm of Ann’s Cottage for the past 35 years, believes the Blue Flag mark to be hugely important to the Cornish tourism industry, and has offered to pay the fees himself.
He said: “It’s frustrating to see an opportunity to really bring the economic value and long-term benefit to the county missed, simply on the grounds of an inspection charge.
“For me it’s much more than just a symbol of quality. After 35 years of being engrossed in our beach culture, it’s Cornwall’s identity, and I’m passionate about maintaining the standards and quality, which ensure business growth and new markets.
“It’s because of this that I have decided to offer to pay for the inspection of Polzeath, Gyllyngvase and Porthtowan, which are all suffering as a consequence.
“I want to work with the Council and the Cornish to ensure an inspection fee doesn’t stand in the way of either tourists or business.”