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May 2024 Work Begins on Pioneering Community Project

Initial Groundworks Commence

The Pendeen community is excited to see groundworks commencing on what is believed to be the first community cemetery in the country.

Cemeteries are usually operated by churches, local authorities, or as private businesses, but Pendeen Community Cemetery will operate as a not-for-profit facility and will be run by volunteers from the community under the umbrella of the Lands End Peninsula Community Land Trust (LEPCLT). It will be open to all (or no) faiths, beliefs, and lifestyles without discrimination. Those wishing to be buried here will simply need to demonstrate a connection to the area.

The project has been part funded with £143,000 from Cornwall Council’s Community Levelling up Programme from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

A public meeting was held in the village in 2017 as fears were growing due to the church graveyard reaching its full capacity. Pendeen residents felt so strongly about the need for a local burial facility that they rallied together and began fund-raising themselves. The generosity of local land owners Terry and Janet Davey boosted the project when they donated part of a field to LEPCLT for the purpose of creating a new community cemetery.

After years of hard work to gain planning permission, Environment Agency and South West Water approval, and raise enough funds to complete the required groundworks in this World Heritage Site area, the LEPCLT and Pendeen residents are now celebrating a successful grant award from the Community Levelling Up Programme.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy Louis Gardner said: “The Community Levelling Up Programme is all about supporting and enabling residents to be at the heart of delivering projects and initiatives that mean a lot to them and their sense of place. This is exactly the kind of levelling up community initiative that this funding was designed for.”

Delia Webb, trustee of the LEPCLT and chair of the Pendeen Community Cemetery Committee commented:

“The sense of belonging, and connection, to this wild unspoilt land and its mining heritage is incredibly strong in Pendeen. Generations of families who have lived, worked and died here, lie buried in the old churchyard. Their relatives and descendants wanted to lie close to them when their time comes, and that’s why we fought so hard to bring this project to fruition. We are incredibly grateful to the CLUP Funders for acknowledging this pioneering project and granting the award.

The tender for the groundworks was won by local Penwith contractors CGS and their Commercial Director Luke McFadden commented:

“As a local company, CGS is delighted to be involved in this revolutionary project which is taking place in an area where the company calls home. CGS appreciate the effort that the community and core members have put into getting the cemetery moving forward and believe it truly demonstrates the uniqueness of the community spirit of Pendeen.”

Works have commenced on site at the end of April and are expected to be finished by the end of October this year when the community cemetery will become operational.

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