‘Tired and dirty town a turn-off’
Newquay town centre.
12th May 2021
By Warren Wilkins
A leading Newquay businessman says retailers are being put off opening a business in the town centre because it looks so tired and dirty.
John Weller, who has a substantial interest in commercial properties in the town centre, is calling for the precinct to be revamped, new street furniture installed and an improved cleaning regime put in place.
The former Newquay Mayor and leader of Restormel Borough Council believes Newquay should get the facelift because the town has not had any major investment for more than 20 years.
He argues the town’s street scene should be as beautiful as its beaches due to its status as a resort and surf Mecca.
Mr Weller said: “There are businesses that want to come into Newquay but they are being put off . This should not be the case.
“The precinct needs to be upgraded. The bins are not fit for purpose. They are old and tatty and they need to be seagull-proof. You only need to look at Padstow to see what is possible.
“When I was the leader of Restormel Borough Council I brought in cleaning equipment from France and made sure the town centre was water-washed using carts with brushes at 5am every day. The town centre was deep cleaned once a week.
“People want to live in Newquay and visit Newquay because it is so beautiful.
“We should be reflecting that with the current street scene but we are not doing that.
“It’s incumbent on the people of the town to make these improvements as Newquay is a premier resort.
“This current situation is a sad reflection on the town, which has the best beaches.
“Newquay should be the best destination. Newquay should be the crown jewel. A surfing Mecca.
“Newquay is so important to UK tourism and Cornwall especially.
“The tide has changed. The pub culture is gone and Newquay is back to what it was like in the 1960s. We no longer get all the crazy scenes and there is less vandalism.
“We have our new Cornwall councillors now. Hopefully they will make a difference.”
The newly formed Newquay Town Team is working on a plan to attract £25m of Government investment to help revitalise the town centre. Mayor Louis Gardner says street furniture and surfaces will be replaced and the infrastructure enhanced.
Newquay Town Council also recently highlighted concerns about Biffa’s cleaning regime in Newquay.
Councillor Gardner said: “Newquay has not seen any major investment in almost 20 years and that is starting to show.
“I have pushed Cornwall Council for the last three years for additional funding for our town centre and this has so far not been forthcoming.
“However, the Town Team has now been formed from local business leaders, councillors and residents and we are awaiting the result of a funding application from Cornwall Council which will see the start of a major project to totally overhaul the street scene in our shopping areas.
“Street furniture and surfaces will be replaced, infrastructure enhanced and employment opportunities created. This is the biggest investment our town will have seen in a generation.
“Newquay Town Council is playing its part, we are investing in new bunting and hanging baskets throughout the town centre and supporting art installations and murals.
“The town council recently made an official complaint to Cornwall Council about the cleaning regime, which has been extremely poor this year.
“We need businesses to play a part too, keeping premises looking fresh and clean.
“We also need business owners represented on the Town Team and on the Newquay BID Board of Directors. Mr Weller would be a welcome addition to either organisation if he feels so strongly about this issue.”
Zoe Dixon, the vice chairman of the Newquay Town Team said: “I believe every resident, town team member and town councillor of Newquay share the frustrations and concerns about the cleanliness of the town.
“The revitalisation project aims to radically review Newquay town centre.
“The town team believe this project will address the concerns we share and that have been raised by Mr Weller.
“The outcomes will improve people’s perception of the town centre and increase satisfaction from residents, businesses and visitors.”