Falmouth: 'Punching well above its weight' at International Urbanism Awards
By Em_Williams | Friday, November 16, 2012, 21:57
Entrepreneurialism and an innovative approach to Town Management put Falmouth in the spotlight at the prestigious Urbanism Awards in London last week. Shortlisted for The Great Town award for the very first time, Falmouth was singled-out for its highly effective Town Team - the Falmouth BID and Falmouth Town Council - who work alongside many town partners and whose drive and professionalism were credited as an excellent example of good urban practice.
The Falmouth Town Team at the Acadamy Of Urbanism Awards (centre three) Richard Wilcox BID Manager, Geoffrey Evans Mayor of Falmouth, Richard Gates Town Manager
Held annually, the Urbanism Awards recognise the best, most improved or most enduring urban environments. In May 2012, The Academy of Urbanism shortlisted twelve UK and Irish and three continental European finalists which were selected on: Effective/Innovative Town Management, Evidence of Effective Partnerships and Evidence of Innovative Marketing and Approach to Town Centre Challenges.
Judges were particularly impressed with Falmouth's ability to foster entrepreneurial partnerships to deliver projects, and the success of its year-round events programme, which has become one of the strongest in the South West, providing a significant impact on the town's economy.
Acknowledged for 'punching well above its weight', Falmouth was up against strong competition from Shrewsbury and the eventual winner, Galway.
Kevin Murray, Chairman of The Academy of Urbanism, said: "Falmouth presented a difficult challenge for Academicians when voting and narrowly missed out on the main prize. The Academy was particularly impressed with the way in which partnerships have formed within Falmouth to deliver results, and of the value that has been placed on investing in higher education."
The Falmouth Town Team commented: "We're delighted that the superb year-round events programme, proactive partnerships and the Falmouth Town Team approach have been commended at a national level. Over 50 towns across the UK and Ireland were long-listed, with Falmouth making it into the final three for the first time ever.
We know it's an incredibly challenging trading environment but this is further strong evidence that towns that invest in town teams provide a great visitor experience, while working together, can provide innovative solutions to current issues, and are the ones that buck trends. This is evident in Falmouth where we work hard to ensure we have one of the lowest vacant unit rates in England at 5.8% (national average is 14% +), the most comprehensive Festival programme in the county and a very active destination marketing campaign, to continually support our businesses and community."