Artist impression of the renovated community hub: stylish building with lots of windows

New and incredible projects are happening all the time in Penzance, supporting and evolving our vibrant community for generations to come – and The Gardeners’ House Project is no exception.

But what is it – and how are we involved?

Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Morrab Gardens, you’ll find a derelict stable block. And, while inconsequential to come, it has now become the beating heart of a new project centred around the creation on an innovative public space for all.

From housing the local gardening team and the town’s botanical library, to providing space for some of the town’s growing community organisations, it’s hoped that, once renovated, it could become a true ‘green’ hub for Penzance.

Miki Ashton, one of the organisers, said: “Penzance is perfectly positioned to be able to tap into all these different things that are going on, and we’ve got brilliant projects happening and dotted around Penwith.

“It would be really good to have that one place in town that is a hub for people to meet, connect and learn from each other.”

Having kick-started the process back in 2017, those behind the project, which has now become an official charity, started things off in the hope of building a space where people could tap into Penzance’s botanical heritage, explore the botanical library and learn about horticulture and the gardens themselves.

But, four years later, and Miki says it has become so much more.

“This is about protecting the heritage – about heritage being fed into the every day so people can learn about it, appreciate it and enjoy it,” she said. “It’s a proper community effort to enjoy the space, use the space and learn from the space.

“But the project has now evolved. The core hasn’t changed – it was always going to be for Penzance and celebrate the horticulture, the botanical history and the garden itself – but what’s come out of it that’s even better is looking at what we’re able to offer and how we can present something exemplary.

“The building is going to be exemplary – it’s going to be very forward-thinking, very eco-friendly. It always was going to be, but even in a couple of years, new technologies have come around and taken it further.”

Under the reformed plans, the Gardeners’ House will not only now house the botanical library, but it will also act as a base for Sustainable Penzance. We’ll be a core part of the Green Hub offering workshops on our ten themes to the community and businesses and running events open to all to raise awareness and forge community collaboration. There’ll be the creation of a sensory garden on behalf of Pengarth Day Centre.

Mike said: “I think we need that central place. Sustainable PZ needs to have a base where people can find them and, for Penzance, we’ve got so much on our doorstep and some people can’t access it. I think access is a really important thing for everyone.

“Having Sustainable PZ as part of this whole partnership has just really gelled it altogether. It’s been amazing.”

A new funding bid has now gone in to the National Heritage Lottery Fund, with results due back in December on whether the funds have been achieved to develop the next stages of the project. We’re very proud and excited to be part of this forward thinking project for the town.

You can find out more on The Gardeners’ House Project, here.