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Drop a line on your Penzance dream

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: April 25, 2013

The Postcard To Penzance project accompanies Patrick Lowry's American Dream exhibition at the Exchange.

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PENZANCE'S Exchange Gallery is inviting people to submit postcards outlining their ideas, dreams and ambitions for Penzance as part of an innovative new project looking at its future.

A Postcard To Penzance is aimed at sparking a positive conversation about the town through postcards, drawings, maps and photographs which will be exhibited in the gallery and brought to the attention of policymakers.

The project will accompany the gallery's latest exhibition, Patrick Lowry's American Dream, which will see a full-size replica of the façade and garden of a 1950s' American home built in the gallery.

As the exhibition started to take shape last week, stakeholders from the town met in the gallery to discuss their thoughts and ideas for Penzance's future.

James Green, director of Newlyn Gallery and the Exchange, chaired the meeting and explained how he felt the gallery could contribute to discussions about the town's future.

"One of the issues that Cornwall Council faces during a consultation process is that it often hears voices from the same people and there is a particular challenge getting the views of young people," he said.

"The conversation has become quite limited.

"We want to enable everyone in Penzance to have a voice and to say what they love about Penzance and what they would like to see here."

The meeting included representatives of Cornwall Council, Penzance Chamber, the Seafront forum, local retailers, Penwith College and The Cornishman, as well as members of the Exchange board.

Ideas included:

Pop-up shops

Chairs on the promenade

Better signage from the station into town and along the seafront

Making the town more of a leisure destination, rather than just a retail centre

Creating an identity, logo and colour for the town.

Martin Nixon, chairman of the Friends of Jubilee Pool, said he felt the best outcome from any discussions on Penzance would be a consensus about the future.

"I fear that Penzance is not making the most of its opportunities and people don't agree on what's best for Penzance," he said.

"It's not just about retail; it's about people. None of us would be sitting around this table unless we really loved this place."

Inspector Jean Phillips from the town's police team agreed: "It's about getting people to love Penzance – getting people to love where they live and respect where they live."

The exhibition opens on Saturday and runs until July 6. There will be an opening debate at the gallery on May 9 between 6pm and 8pm, with architectural experts from across the UK, to which everyone with a view to contribute on the regeneration of Penzance is invited.

Contributors can also pick up a blank postcard in the gallery, drop ideas into the Exchange or submit their thoughts via an e-mail to info@newlynartgallery.co.uk

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