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Frequently asked questions


Who is carrying out the survey?
What is the timetable?
Who is funding the project?
How were the study towns chosen?
What about other historic towns in Cornwall?
What do we mean by the 'historic environment'?
How does the historic environment contribute to regeneration?


Who is carrying out the Survey?

The Survey is being carried out by the Historic Environment section of Cornwall County Council.

A team of three people is undertaking the main elements of the work, supported by other specialists in the historic environment, in economic regeneration and information technology.

What is the timetable for the project?

The project is running for two and a half years, ending in December 2003. The timetable for studying individual towns is established according to the priorities identified by the relevant local authority and regional interests involved in regeneration.

Who is funding the project?

The Survey is being funded  by English Heritage, the Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and Scilly and the South West of England Regional Development Agency. Objective One support is made under Measure 5.2 of the Single Programming Document.

How were the study towns chosen?

The 19 study towns were identified as those most likely to be the focus of regeneration schemes in consultation with local authorities. They include the 12 centres classified as ‘employment growth’ centres under Objective 1:

Bodmin, Hugh Town, Saltash

Camborne, Newquay, St Austell

Falmouth, Penzance, Truro, Newlyn

Hayle, Redruth, St Ives

Six other historic towns of high regeneration priority are also included:

Camelford, Launceston, Penryn

Helston, Liskeard, Torpoint

What about other historic towns in Cornwall?

Many other towns in Cornwall will also be affected by regeneration initiatives over the next few years. It will not be possible for the Survey project to undertake work on these places – it is specifically targeted on the 18 towns identified as regeneration priorities. Many other historic settlements are being assessed by the Cornwall Industrial Settlements Initiative, however, and in addition the innovative method developed by the project will be available for future use.

What do we mean by ‘the historic environment’?

The phrase ‘historic environment’ refers to all those aspects of our environment which bear traces of past human activity. In addition to buried archaeological deposits and standing monuments and historic buildings, it also encompasses elements such as the street patterns in our towns and villages and rural landscapes of farms, fields, woodland, moors and wetlands. The historic environment is the evidence of the human past which survives in the present.

Some elements of the historic environment are particularly valued and recognised: for example, historic buildings or archaeological monuments. There is increasing recognition, however, of the contribution which the broader historic environment makes to the character and value of a much wider range of the places in which we live and work.

Certainly, the richness of the historic environment makes a major contribution to the quality of people’s lives and to local, regional and national identity – our ‘sense of place’. Increasingly, working for a sustainable historic environment is seen as of parallel importance to caring for the ‘green’ environment.

In the urban context, it is important to recognise that ‘sustainability’ in the historic environment is not aimed simply at static preservation. Rather, it is a means of managing change, a way that acknowledges the present and future value of our historical assets and ensures that they are not sacrificed solely for short-term economic gain.

How does the historic environment contribute to regeneration?

In urban settings, a high-quality historic environment stimulates economic growth and prosperity, both directly (through heritage tourism, for example) and indirectly by encouraging a strong sense of confidence based on identity and pride of place. This, in turn, creates a positive climate for economic regeneration.

Sustainable development that acknowledges and respects historic character is crucial to this process. The Survey is providing information which enables regeneration planning to take full account of the region’s distinctive historic urban environment.

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