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Penzance's Penlowarth building, dubbed the 'fourth ugliest in UK', is transformed

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: November 18, 2013

  • Penzance. The launch of Pz360. LR BR Christian Wilson (Stephens/Sloans Solicitors), Pat Leyden (Gloweth), Cheryl Dent (DCH), Steve Robey (DCH), Rex Henry (Architect). FR Dick Cliffe (Pz chamber of commerce), Sue & Bill Radmore and Estelle Doughty (Architect). PZPM20131107B-001_C.JPG

  • Penzance. The launch of Pz360. LR BR Christian Wilson (Stephens/Sloans Solicitors), Pat Leyden (Gloweth), Cheryl Dent (DCH), Steve Robey (DCH), Rex Henry (Architect). FR Dick Cliffe (Pz chamber of commerce), Sue & Bill Radmore and Estelle Doughty (Architect). PZPM20131107B-002_C.JPG

  • Celebrating the launch of PZ360 in Penzance are, back, from left, Christian Wilson, Stephens/Sloans Solicitors; Pat Leyden, Gloweth; Cheryl Dent, and Steve Robey, both Devon and Cornwall Housing, Rex Henry, architect; and Gerry Caseley, Devon and Cornwall Housing. Front, Dick Cliffe, Penzance Chamber of Commerce; Sue and Bill Radmore, owners and Estelle Doughty, architect.

  • A view of Penzance harbour from the top of the PZ360 building.

  • A panoramic view of Penzance and Mount's Bay from the top of the PZ360 building.

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PENZANCE'S movers and shakers turned out in force to celebrate the transformation of the "UK's fourth most ugly building".

The Penlowarth building in St Mary's Terrace, once home to the tax office and described as "a concrete monstrosity" sitting in the middle of Penzance's fine Georgian and Regency buildings, has been owned by Bill and Sue Radmore for the past 18 months.

Since then they have invested £700,000 into turning it into a place to do business renaming it PZ360.

"When we bought it, we did think for five minutes that perhaps we were better off knocking it down and then starting again," he said. "But that didn't last and I hope that having renovated all but one of the floors, we now have created a site for business right in the heart of Penzance."

Apart from all the refurbishment work and creating a smart new copper-lined reception area, the Radmores have also been busy attracting tenants to the workspace.

TorFX, the foreign exchange brokers, and the Workbox, a hub for small, independent businesses, have been joined by recruitment specialists Red Commerce and IT experts Microcomms as well as Devon & Cornwall Housing.

And while it may still not be the most attractive building in Penzance, people in the building do have the benefit of spectacular 360-degree views of Mount's Bay, Penzance and Newlyn. These views can be enjoyed by everyone by PZ360's own webcam which can be accessed on www.pz-360.com

Mr Radmore added: "We now have around 175 people working in the building and we are at about 85 per cent occupancy which isn't bad in a time of recession.

"It's probably the biggest private sector workplace in Penzance if not the whole of west Cornwall."

Mr Radmore said that renaming the building PZ360 was a conscious decision to break with the past.

Tim Dwelly, from the Workbox, said he was "absolutely delighted" to be working there.

"We were one of the first businesses to start here and I hope we have helped encourage others to come here too."

Dick Cliffe, chairman of the Penzance Chamber of Commerce, said PZ360 was a big asset for the town.

"This project and Cornwall Council's decision to revamp St Johns Hall and relocate staff from St Clare will improve the vibrancy of Penzance town centre and the local economy," he said.

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