Developing Hayle Harbour for Hayle  

Hayle Harbour Trust

Clean-up support from:
Green Waste Company
Jago Skip Hire
Geoff Henwood
Chris Lello
Ray Wyse
Clive Polkinghorne
3 September 2014. Tim Clarke
The Trust is saddened to record the death of founder trustee Tim Clarke. Tim was an active member and a good friend and his wise counsel will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family.
30 April 2014. £1.6 million Coastal Community Fund Application
The Trust has put together a fantastic team for its application to the 2014 round of the CCF. This comprises:
  • Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, winners not only of the prestigious Stirling Prize but, in 2013, the Prime Minister’s Better Building Award – and more RIBA awards than any other practice.
  • Burges Salmon LLP, a leading law firm advising us on State Aid.
  • Trevor Humphries Associates, quantity surveying and project management whose portfolio includes Harvey’s Foundry Trust, Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and King Edward Mine.
  • Spalding Associates, specialists in ecological surveys.
  • Steven Levrant Heritage Architecture Ltd, specialists in heritage and conservation issues and an expert on Hayle Harbour.
  • And many local volunteers with professional skills.
We are fast-tracked and hope to hear whether we are successful in July.
10 January 2014. Hayle Harbour Trust's Concept for Harbour Ownership and Transfer

Currently, the Harbour is managed by the Hayle Harbour Authority Ltd, a limited liability company owned entirely by ING. The land is owned by ING Real Estate (UK) Ltd. In order to minimise costs, and to avoid the need for a Harbour Revision order or other complexities, we propose a combination of charity and Community Interest Company (CIC) as shown below.

Since there is no mechanism for converting a limited liability company into a charity, Hayle Harbour Authority Ltd would become a CIC. The Hayle Harbour Trust, as a registered charity, would be nominated as the specified asset-locked beneficiary of the CIC. In addition, the land held by ING Real Estate (UK) Ltd would be transferred directly to the Hayle Harbour Trust.

There are many benefits to the Harbour being owned by a charity, including reductions in council tax and easier access to grant funding.

A company limited by guarantee, such as the Hayle Harbour Trust, is governed by trustees appointed by the membership body. The membership body is similar to shareholders in a limited company. The Department for Transport used to promote the Trust Port model, although this has fallen out of favour because of lack of democracy and the cost and time required for an Act of Parliament. However, we have tried to adopt the best features of the Trust Port concept: 1) the DfT document “Modernising Trust Ports” recommends a board of eight to 12 commissioners selected for their skills rather than being ex officio appointees; 2) they require a ‘stakeholder body’ representing all harbour users and beneficiaries

The Hayle Harbour Trust currently has six trustees and we will add to the board by recruiting people with the appropriate skills. We have proposed that an existing stakeholder body, the Hayle Harbour Advisory Committee, set up under the 1989 Hayle Harbour Act and comprising 22 members and 12 other invitees, could become the membership body. This body (see would be responsible for monitoring the proper management and operation of the Harbour and would have the power to elect trustees at the Annual General Meeting of the Trust. Since the HHAC already numbers two Cornwall Councillors, two Hayle Town Councillors and a St Ives Town Councillor, there is a strong elected presence as well as representatives from commercial and leisure harbour users and statutory agencies. In short, it is an ideal stakeholder body.

As we move towards community ownership of the harbour, we will need to strengthen our board of trustees and our team. If you have the time and skills to help, please contact us. What are we looking for? Almost everything: maritime, construction, engineering, finance, accounting, marketing, computer, architectural, environmental, scientific, archaeological, publicity, design and management skills are all needed. Contact us, whatever your talents, I am sure we can find a place for them. But remember, this is for the community - charity trustees do not receive any payment.

6 December 2013. Cornwall Council Offers to Support Hayle Harbour Trust

The Trust has received welcome backing from Cornwall Council in our bid to take over Hayle Harbour for the community.

Peter Marsh, Corporate Director of Environment said “I am writing to offer the support of Cornwall Council to the Hayle Harbour Trust’s Community Interest Company approach”. The council had been considering whether to add Hayle to the list of municipal ports that they manage but, Mr Marsh added, “Given the current economic climate and uncertainty around local government finances it would not be prudent for the Council to take on the management of the Harbour.”
John Bennett, chair of the Trust and former Hayle mayor, said: “Taking on the management of the harbour, which has suffered many years of neglect and damage, is a daunting task. Having the support of Cornwall Council will be vital for a successful outcome. We are also grateful for the support we have received from our ward councillors, John Pollard and John Coombe and from local MPs, George Eustice and Andrew George – and from many local people who have given their time freely.”
The next step is to finalise the terms of the transfer with harbour owners ING Real Estate (UK) Ltd.
The Hayle Harbour Trust was set up following a public meeting of the Hayle Residents Association in January 2010 and subsequently registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee. It was granted charity status in 2012.
Hayle Town Councillor Robb Lello, who over the last 40 years has served as a town, district and county councillor, was delighted. “We tried to buy the harbour for the community 20 years ago when the DeSavary plans failed but this time it looks like we will finally succeed. We have so many plans for improving the harbour, we can’t wait to get started.”
The trust will need all the help it can get, so if you have technical expertise in engineering, construction, harbours, finance, legal or anything else, please contact John Bennett at

10 October 2013. Cornishman Asks "Who Should Run the Harbour?"
The Cornishman today ran side-by-side views, one from the Hayle Harbour Trust and one from the Hayle Harbour Trust. This is what we said:

John Bennett, chairman of Hayle Harbour Trust, says the running of the harbour should be transferred to a community group.

IN THE near future ING will consult on handing over the running of Hayle Harbour to a community body. The Hayle Harbour Trust is willing to take on this important and challenging task.

Back when Peter de Savary's plans failed, the harbour was almost purchased by a local group that included two of our current trustees, Robb Lello and Andrew George (now MP). Unfortunately, that group lost out at the last minute to Rosshill and Carruthers. The harbour continued to deteriorate, including years of selling off our 'three miles of golden sands'.

In 2004, after Rosshill defaulted, ING acquired the harbour and has since spent considerable time and money to gain planning consent to profitably develop it. Why did this take so long? Because ING's initial plans did not involve the community nor offer any benefits for the people of Hayle – and it continued selling the sand.

To get ING's attention, in early 2010 the Hayle Residents' Association called a well-attended public meeting. This led to the creation of the charitable Hayle Harbour Trust with a mandate to be ready to take over some or all of the harbour to benefit Hayle's residents.

Active engagement began after Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee voted in early 2011 to defer ING's supermarket planning application, allowing around six months for negotiation. By the time it returned to the planning committee, ING had agreed to transfer Hayle Harbour to a community body together with 100 acres of land – including East Quay, Lelant Quay and the Spit. Also in the package were the restoration of sluicing at Carnsew and the establishment of a World Heritage Site levy on all homes and businesses built in the harbour area, which would generate about £200,000 a year. Trust members played a major role in negotiating these benefits. We also signed an agreement with ING that allowed us to clean up the path to the railway station and uncover the historic sand drag. More recently, we applied for £1.6 million in grants to renovate East Quay and the Stable Block on North Quay.

Another option is for Cornwall Council to run the harbour, which it would do competently. However, Cornwall Council is unlikely to take on the land, which would again deteriorate.

While we would like to work co-operatively with Cornwall Council, we believe a Hayle organisation with links to the harbour would work best. Our team has years of combined harbour-related experience. Hayle Harbour Trust is established and ready to start running the harbour for the community's benefit. Additional trustees would be appointed for their skills, and democratic control would be exercised by a stakeholder body consisting of harbour users and elected members.

As a registered charity, our trustees receive no benefits and we have self-funded all costs. Two of us also serve on the Harvey's Foundry Trust, now almost ten years old and fully sustainable. We can make the harbour work.
Along with our 800-plus friends on Facebook, we hope the people of Hayle will support the Hayle Harbour Trust.
For information visit

The Hayle Harbour Support Group had this to say:

Jim Wright, a member of Hayle Harbour Support Group, explains why the group believes the harbour should be council-run.

READERS will know that a community trust is planned for Hayle Harbour and an options paper outlining possible models has been prepared by Cornwall Council.

After careful consideration of all options, which included considerable research and consultation, it is our considered view that the best option for the ownership and operation of Hayle harbour is for it to be taken over by Cornwall Council as a municipal port. Cornwall Council should take ownership of the harbour and set up a municipal harbour board to run the harbour.

The board would consist of up to 12 members, all with relevant qualifications and experience. Half the board, including the harbour master, would be appointed by the council, the other half by open advertisement and independent recruitment. Thus the council, as owner, would retain overall control of the port, adopt the recommendations of Modern Trust Ports concerning accountability, governance and finance, while allowing the port to be more independent as a non-executive function of the council.
Hayle harbour is in a unique position in that its regeneration is central to the future prospects of the whole town, and will open up further opportunities within the wider harbour landscape.

It is essential that close links are established between all elements of regeneration of the harbour, and council ownership of the port will provide the best opportunity for achieving this. Large amounts of public money have been invested in the harbour infrastructure, so it makes sense that Cornwall Council should safeguard its investment and be involved in any outcomes.

Under council ownership the port will benefit from the existing Cornwall Council Harbour Board which already governs other Cornish harbours. A single maritime service is being established by the council and its experience will bring a wealth of existing skills, knowledge and experience to the running of the harbour.

It is also the best bet for ensuring the harbour's future financial security. Very importantly, this is the most democratic way of ensuring wide accountability to the population. The linkage of a municipal port to a port board is an effective way of ensuring that Hayle people are closely involved in the future development of the harbour.

The setting-up of other ownership models seems unnecessary when a tried and tested solution is readily available. We should not be tempted to reinvent the wheel for the sake of it, especially in these difficult economic times.


Here are some comments on the Harbour Support Group's view:

  • Firstly, who is the Harbour Support Group and what are their qualifications to speak on this topic? The Hayle Harbour Trust laid out how it was formed through a public forum and is registered as a company limited by guarantee and as a charity. The HSG has no such credibility and has not reported to any public forum. When invited to address the Hayle Residents Association public meeting they declined.
  • What are Jim Wright's harbour qualifications? John Bennett is chairman of the Hayle Harbour Advisory Committee a group set up by the 1989 Hayle Harbour Act.
  • They are proposing the Trust Port model that was supported by the Department for Transport at one time. Subsequently, parliamentary reports have sought to supercede this model due to lack of accountability.
  • Cornwall Council could run the harbour but are most unlikely to take on the 100 acres of associated land - leaving this to become derelict. It would be better for a community body like the Hayle Harbour Trust to take on the whole lot and have Cornwall Council's Harbour Board support us (which they have indicated they would be glad to do).
  • It would be more democratic and more representative of Hayle to have a local stakeholder body control the harbour. How easy do you find it to get Cornwall Council to do what you want?
  • This is not a new 'ownership model'. What Hayle Harbour Trust is proposing is almost identical to the successful Harvey's Foundry Trust.
28 August 2013. Trust Submits Application to HLF for Old Stable Block

We are seeking funding to restore the Old Stable Block on North Quay. This grade II listed building could serve as an interpretation centre for the World Heritage Site focusing on the harbour. We are also seeking to install a kitchen so that the area in front of the stables can be used for community events.

If you have any photographs of the stable, preferably from the early 1900s, please let us know.

This photo is dated 1895, 7 years after the stables were built

12 June 2013. Presentation to Friends of Hayle Harbour Trust
Trust members presented the Trust's plans and ideas at a meeting of the Friends of the Trust at the Passmore Edwards Institute. There was much support, lots of questions and many excellent ideas expressed during the question and answer session. You can download a copy of the presentation by clicking below.
11 May 2013. Join Friends of Hayle Harbour Trust

The Hayle Harbour Trust has exciting plans for the development of Hayle Harbour. Not only are we seeking a £1.6 million grant for development of East Quay, but we also have plans for restoring the Town Beach, the footpath to Lelant, provide a Watersports Centre, provide pontoons for additional moorings, make the Cockle Bank a secure mooring, support wet fish sales, provide a fish restaurant, deepen the channel to support Beam Trawlers, provide World Heritage Site interpretation and much more.

All this costs money and so far the trustees have funded everything themselves. But a planning application for our grant application alone can cost £5,000 - and other costs mount up.

We need your help and your membership will do two things:

  1. Support our work
  2. Show us and others that we have your support

If you 'gift aid' your donation, as a charity we will also get an additional 20% from HMRC. Every penny of your donation will be spent on fulfilling our objects and developing Hayle Harbour.

9 May 2013. Cornishman Article
16 April 2013. Fast-Tracked for 2013 Coastal Communities Fund

Trustees were delighted to receive the information that our Coastal Communities Fund application has been fast-tracked for 2013.

This means that we go quickly into Stage 2 and an early decision is made on our application - perhaps as soon as mid-July.

5 April 2013. Award-Winning Architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Support Trust
FCB contacted us to offer assistance with our bid and, following a meeting with Penzance resident Matt Williams and partner Jo Wright we were delighted to receive a firm commitment to help us in getting through the planning process.
Charity Registration Complete

In early September 2012, the Trust was advised that our application to register as a charity had been accepted and our Registered Charity Number is 1149082. This follows a lengthy period of submissions to the Commission's legal team, conference calls and many emails.

The trustees are delighted that our vision for Hayle harbour has been recognised by the Charity Commission as being entirely charitable.

Charity registration certificate

Land Transfers
The Trust has negotiated the land and water areas in colour in the map below to be included in the transfer to a Hayle Trust (subject to final discussions). There are additional areas to the east and south that are not covered by this map.
land transfer plan
Road Map
An outline of the Trust's plans are included in the document which you can download here. It describes the plans for developing East Quay and Penpol Creek.
east quay development plan
The sketch produced by architect Bob Mims outlining the East Quay development

Sir John Banham Agrees to Support the Hayle Harbour Trust


Sir John BanhamSir John Banham is a Cornishman, a former Director General of the CBI and has chaired some of Britain's most successful businesses, creating more value than any other FTSE leader.

(click here for more details of Sir John's background).

When given details of the objects of the Trust, Sir John offered his immediate support - and started floating ideas on ways to proceed.

Sir John's outstanding experience will add support to a board which already includes a local MP, a barrister and Fulbright scholar, a chartered surveyor, a professional engineer and successful local business people.

In addition, Sir John knows how local government works having been the first Chief Executive of the Audit Commission when it was established in 1983 to monitor efficiency and seek better value for money in local government. Under Sir John's leadership it identified improvements worth over £2 billion a year and launched a range of reforms now being implemented in local government finance including the management of secondary schools, council housing and community care.

In 1992 he became the first Chairman of the Local Government Commission for England. This resulted in the creation of 48 new unitary authorities in England, and the restoration of the historic boundaries of the Counties of the East Riding of Yorkshire, County Durham, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Somerset and Rutland.

Board members are extremely pleased to be able to call upon the wealth of knowledge that Sir John brings. This is excellent news for the future of Hayle Harbour.


Company limited by guarantee. Registration number 7215658

Registered Charity Number 1149082