What's the land use breakdown?
Non-residential uses comprise 30% of all the land use
New public space (green and open space, play space, nature trail) = 3.5 acres (equivalent to 3 Lemon Quays)
Uses including Leisure, Food and Beverage, Workspace, Retail and Education = 16,500 sqm
Will retail on site compete with existing retail in Truro city centre?
No. The scheme will not compete with the existing city centre retail as only 2% of the entire development is identified for retail within the illustrative scheme. This equates to approximately 1000 sq m which could be a couple of small convenience stores or an independent retailer such as a bike repair shop. The Pydar site will attract people to the town centre via the new routes and help direct footfall directly to existing local businesses.
Are Falmouth University still part of the project?
Falmouth University is committed to the scheme and have been working closely with the Project Team on the outline design of ‘The Hive’ – a digital hub that combines academic learning with entrepreneurial businesses, community, and entertainment to support the development of more high-value, high-growth innovative businesses that will create jobs and prosperity.
Why do we want the Falmouth University hub in Truro?
Falmouth University are a significant UK provider of subjects across the whole of the creative industries, a sector which contributes £92billion to the UK economy annually. Falmouth University have established a strong reputation for their entrepreneurial approach which is exemplified in their multi-award-winning Launchpad programme (in partnership with Cornwall Council) which is creating and nurturing new high growth start-ups in Cornwall, for the benefit of Cornwall. One of the key objectives of this programme is to build and retain this growth industry in Cornwall and Pydar is a fitting space where this could be based. Their inspiration is driven on the prediction that the future economy, future communities, future living and future learning environments will need to use innovation and creativity to positive ends to better address the structural isolation and separatism that seems to increasingly characterise much of how we live, work and learn.
What are the economic benefits?
Within our economic analysis, we have also included the indirect value of the occupancy of ‘The Hive’ and its associated accommodation and grow-on spaces, in order to understand the impact that the students, researchers, business owners and workers based there would have on Truro. The analysis shows that this is the highest impact with £57 million projected income over 10 years generated from additional spending within Truro.
Will the whole Falmouth University Campus relocate to Truro?
No. The intention from Falmouth University is to do a full ‘lift and shift’ of the Games Academy, which is currently housed in a rental warehouse in Penryn.
What courses will Falmouth University’s offer?
Falmouth University will operate 41 weeks of the year and are interested in two things – i) the development of a new and innovative approach to co-locating academic spaces with entrepreneurial businesses, community and entertainment facilities, ii) this creative digital hub will enable the University to leverage their (and partners) expertise and assets in screen, immersive technologies, games and entrepreneurship to support the development of more high-value, high-growth innovative businesses that will create jobs and prosperity. Truro will be a new base for all of the IT related courses.
Will it be a traditional campus?
The University is not interested in a traditional campus. What they are interested in is developing new models for learning environments that also promote new ways of working to embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution which is seeing the convergence of:
Mixed reality – where Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are converging, where design, manufacturing and health can be delivered virtually and across different locations;
Artificial Intelligence – where the power of machine learning is fundamentally changing the way we live (smart homes) and even medical diagnosis where it is being found that the robot is more reliable; and
Experience Economy – the rise of the experience economy which is becoming a new way to bring together retail and entertainment and which may be needed to save the High Street.
In the context of this project, Falmouth University are interested in how four of their digital areas (Games, Animation, Film and TV) could be integrated into a wider community and regeneration project to create new ways of learning, living, making and doing. The master thinking around this is that universities and students of the future will need to work in more porous environments which include integrating living, working and making into one environment. This is particular suitable for growing digital clusters and incubating companies with students whilst they are still students; smarter ways of working providing intelligent, interactive environments that promote innovation and multi-generational living and learning. This is the basis of the design for the Hive and Innovation Centre.
Where will the students be living and studying? Will they be travelling to and from the Falmouth Campus?
Falmouth University intend for the students in Truro to both live and study in Truro, there will be no requirement for daily transit between campuses to attend classes. Whilst there may be the desire for the Truro Students to travel to Falmouth for social activities or networking and other such like events, this will be ad hoc and unlikely to be all students. There are good public transport links between Truro and Falmouth. The journey time from Truro to Falmouth by train is 20 minutes and operates from 06:00 every day, last train departing at 22:53 and every 30 minutes during peak times. There is also a direct bus service between Truro and Falmouth, with an average journey time of 30 minutes.
The development will provide accommodation for 200 of the first year’s student intake plus a further 200 beds. This leaves 350 students who will need to find other accommodation. A percentage of these students will be local residents and may commute from home. Some will inevitably want to live outside Truro, possibly in Falmouth and the rest will need to find local accommodation. The Council anticipate that there is unlikely to be a significant pressure on existing housing stock within Truro as a result of the development.
What are the maximum number of students that will come to Truro and will that be phased?
At peak, Truro will now hold 750 students and will be phased so likely to be 400 students on day 1.
The Covid pandemic has shifted the way that Universities deliver their courses. Is the current proposal future proof?
Despite the pandemic and associated uncertainty faced by further learning establishments, Falmouth University have continued to commit to the project, with Heads of Terms agreed in principle, and will pay design fees should they, for any reason, not sign a Pre-Let. Falmouth University are very resilient to the impact on international students (with generally only 10% international students per year) and are fully subscribed for the current academic year.
What happened to the previous plan for a community facility in Pydar?
Following community feedback, the intention is to develop a new Community Facility for Truro to host local events and classes, and also act as a permanent space for the Pydar Pop Up events programme. The Council are supporting the Methodist Church to provide a Community Facility in Truro, however there is scope to provide this facility on the Pydar site, within the existing proposed non-residential space, if for some reason the Methodist Church proposal does not go ahead or if there is deemed to be demand for both community spaces.
If the community facility does go ahead on the Pydar site, what is the capacity and potential uses?
The illustrative design and financial model for a potential Community Facility has been centred around a flexible event space which has an audience capacity of 200 people. This space includes a demountable stage and seating, with an interior designed to be suitable for all potential uses such as sports, dance classes, concerts, receptions/private functions and exhibitions. A further 2-4 smaller sized spaces can be created for community uses such as playgroups, club meetings, workshops etc. There would also be an equipment space to store the demountable stage and seating for the flexible event space when not in use as well as other sport/play equipment. A foyer will be created to provide access to the flexible event space and toilets/changing rooms. Finally, a reception/office area will be located at the entrance of the building which will serve as a base for staff and a reception/booking point.