Locals to have say on regeneration of iconic Duchy Palace
THE regeneration of Lostwithiel's iconic Duchy Palace has entered a consultation phase, with local people being asked who or what they would like to see in the iconic building.
The lattice of scaffolding which hides the renovations is expected to be removed next month, and "people will see progress", according to Prince's Regeneration Trust manager Rosie Fraser.
One hundred and thirty square metres of office and retail space will have been created when the Palace re-opens around new year.
"We want something that is complementary to the area, and we will evaluate the completed project to see what impact we've achieved," Mrs Fraser said.
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The Prince's Trust has placed questionnaires in key Lostwithiel locations in order to canvass the townspeople on their expectations for the project.
They can be found at Lostwithiel Museum, St Bartholomew's Church, the community centre and the doctors' surgery.
Alternatively the questionnaire can be completed online by visiting http://www.smart-survey.co.uk/v.asp?i=57903frtdm
Lostwithiel Museum has confirmed that it will be occupying approximately one third of the Palace under-cross to display heritage artefacts.
"It will be an interpretation of the economic and political history of Lostwithiel," said museum chairman Pat Gregory.
"It's one of the most important buildings in Cornwall. Ideally, one would like the remaining space to be used for businesses which support local jobs and stimulate the local economy."
Also known as the Stannery Palace, the structure has hosted a rich tapestry of Cornish history in its 700-year existence. The building is grade one listed and was at the heart of Cornish political affairs from 1378 to 1878, when it became a Freemason's temple.
The Prince's Trust, which owns the Palace, is sub-leasing to the Cornish Buildings Protection Trust, and tenancies in the building will be "a joint decision", according to Mrs Fraser.
The two organisations have worked in conjunction on the renovation project.
Local businessman Steve Wales, who used to operate Best Seconds Antiques from the Palace building, was hopeful of moving back into the Palace premises, but said that it was unlikely.
"It has to be used in the best way to make its own money to survive," he said.
"If it can be used to attract more people to Lostwithiel, that is a great thing. Ultimately it will have a positive effect on the community."
Mrs Fraser did not rule out the possibility of more established national outlets moving in to the Palace.
She said: "We have had a few coming forward. We are looking to see who's interested."