Penzance down in the dumps

I have read in the Cornishman quite a few times over the last year both in the letters pages and editorial that there are loads of closed shops and more generally Penzance does not look appealing to visitors.  This is all true but I feel I must point out that the bottom part of town is far, far worse than the top.


As some of you will know I ran Bar One for a year and I have recently had to give it up as the greedy landlord wants to sell the leasehold (for £15000) and charge double the rent I was paying. That is not achievable in my opinion and Bar One like a lot of places down that end of town will be just another closed business for some time to come.


Having a look around Bar One and surrounds what kind of businesses can you see?

  • Well there is Bar One, closed of course
  • a closed chinese takeaway (new lotus house)
  • there are two large second hand shops
  • mick convenience store (closing soon)
  • Bride (up for let)
  • the catch, closed
  • ice cream shop, closed
  • large motorcycle shop, closed
  • there is an open Thai ‘massage’ parlour
  • DV8, closed
  • a shop next door to DV8 (was a baltic deli once), closed
  • a shop next door to petshop (was Bag It then ‘phone shop), closed
  • closed flabulous shop
  • Boa (next to stuarts hair), closed
  • Greengrocers next door to Dressing room, closed
  • Lavenders pasty shop, up to let
  • Clothing shop next door to Lavenders now a charity shop
  • Michelangelos, closed
  • Two other charity shops (Animal welfare and British Heart I think).
  • there are two kebab shops

All of the above are less than 100 yards from bar One.  Bar One of course is 50 yards from the bus/train station where a lot of visitors arrive.  So the first 100 yards of view the visitors see is as above.  Not a great advert is it?










Whats causing the problem?  Well greedy landlords and the Council charging unrealistic business rates play a big part.  These are hard times and some help for small businesses from the council and a more realistic rent charging structure from landlords (and their agents) would help massively.

The problems of the bottom of town are creeping up towards the top and I fear that soon Penzance will become a ‘ghost town’.


9 thoughts on “Penzance down in the dumps

  1. So well put, greeedy fat cats as usual !!! have lived here all my life and and am increasingly embarrassed about the the state of it !!! the whole place is crumbling 😦

  2. I too am embarressed at the state of our town,like George has said the bottom is particulary bad. Im a ‘inn’ with restaurant and bar manager next door to Bar One. Although we are managing to stay busy,it does seem that there is hardly anything going on down our neck of the woods. David Cameron came to our town a few months back and said the same thing so what is actually going to happen regarding help!

  3. You might want to try living in France to see the true picture. In our Main Street, about the same length as Market Jew Street, we have precisely 6 shops open ALL the rest have shut down! Not due to greedy landlords, just no one with any money. Britain is booming in comparison with France at the moment.

  4. While it is sad to see the town in such a state, it is a boon for me, I’m in the process of securing funding to open my own business here in Penzance, and the sheer number of properties up for rent has meant I can haggle the price down on the lease for the property I want, simply because there are plenty of other places I could go in town.

  5. 20 charity shops in Penzance isn’t booming in my opinion, places like Truro, Totnes and Exeter are fairing better. One prime example. Lloyds TSB bank own that huge building, why doesn’t the town council and chamber of commerce get together and say,” right buildings which have been left to sit empty and unloved should pay full business rates. That might stop them from being so greedy. If a landlord won’t rent shops out (on a low rent ) to businesses who want to make a go and commit to Penzance then they should have them taken off them. It’s better to 50% of something than 100% of nothing. That’s what greedy landlords are getting. Nothing.

  6. I immigrated to Australia 3.5 years ago. I’ve visited 3 times in this time & each time (roughy 6 months apart) the situation seems to get worse ad worse. Business’ shutting @ charity shops, pasty shops and pound shops opening in their place! It is a global problem, but Penzance seems to be copping the brunt of it… The situation is a bit of a downward spiral, spend less, prices go up, jobs get cut. What is the answer?

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