Penzance street scene is 'more shabby than chic' in historic market place
It is an historic market town famous for its artsy scene, quirky charm and position at the heart of a magnificent bay.
By any measure, Penzance has the natural ingredients to be a thriving hideaway, which would give the likes of Falmouth or Totnes a run for their money.
Yet it is suffering and though not as much as some other places, there are too many empty shops and a street scene which in places is considerably more shabby than chic.
Dick Cliffe, chairman of the town's Chamber of Commerce, is the first to admit that Penzance has yet to achieve its full potential.
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"It could do better," he said.
"It has been under performing in the past.
"But it does have huge potential and that needs exploiting.
"People who live here know it's a charming town and that it has a lot going for it.
"We just need to fill up some of the empty sites and do a bit of work. The town could be turned around very quickly and with relatively little money.
"We can't keep carrying on doing what we have been doing.
"We need to get organised."
Penzance was the town famously rumoured to have turned its nose up at Marks & Spencer.
When the retail giant, which is generally seen a massive driver for the local economy, was fishing for locations in West Cornwall, Penzance was said to be in the running.
However, the feeling at the time was that an M&S would do more harm than good and so the red carpet stayed in storage and Hayle was the eventual benefactor.
It is an episode which may be the subject of regret, as a quick scoot up the town's two main shopping thoroughfares, Market Jew Street and Causewayhead, reveal.
In these two streets, there are 17, soon to be 18, empty shops, mostly deserted by national retailers like Clinton or Bonne Marche.
According to a report from industry experts the Local Data Company, some 16% of Penzance shops are empty – nearly 2% higher than the national average.
The really bad news is that it is an increase on last year, when the figure stood at nearly 11%.
Mr Cliffe, though, is fairly buoyant about the future, saying that Penzance is finding its feet once more.
"One of the problems is that Penzance does not market itself and people do not understand what is on offer."