Repurposing the Bassett Centre in Camborne

Concept image: Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole Architects

The Basset Community Hub, Camborne

The Basset Community Hub project is located on Basset Road in the heart of Camborne Town Centre. Led by Camborne Town Council, the project has secured funding from the UK Government’s Towns Fund and matched funding from Cornwall Council.

The proposals aim to secure the long term future of two Grade II Listed Buildings across two adjacent brownfield sites: the current Basset Centre, formerly a Victorian Board School dating from the late 19th century, and the neighbouring White House, a mid-19th century villa. Both buildings were previously occupied by Cornwall Council but are now largely vacant, except for the ground floor of the Basset Centre which today provides a temporary home for Camborne Town Library.

Restoring and re-purposing the Basset Centre will provide an expanded and permanent new home for the Town Library, together with youth facilities, education spaces and exhibition areas. A range of multi-use bookable rooms, including meeting spaces, will be available for hire by local groups alongside opportunities for co-working. The White House will contain a café, as well as music facilities and further co-working spaces. In addition to the restoration and re-purposing of the two listed buildings, the project has the potential to create a new multi-purpose performance space with more than 200 seats on land at the rear of the site. This part of the site is currently occupied by dilapidated Portacabins and other temporary structures that will be removed to make way for the new performance space.

The performance space auditorium and both listed buildings will be brought together by a shared atrium foyer. This exciting new space will serve as the main Community Hub entrance from where all the new facilities can be reached, including fully accessible routes throughout for people using wheelchairs. Serving as the audience foyer for performances, the atrium will also house the main heritage exhibition areas. This provides a key orientation point to inform and entertain visitors across a range of digital and physical exhibits illustrating Camborne’s proud industrial heritage. It is hoped that the centrepiece of the heritage exhibition will be the Trevithick Society’s full size working replica of the Puffing Devil, Richard Trevithick’s famous high pressure steam engine.

Bringing together and revitalising these two brownfield sites within Camborne Town Centre, together with the wide range of facilities on offer, supports sustainable and collaborative development, employment, and education opportunities in a central local setting. Co-working spaces will encourage local businesses to participate alongside the community and other creative partners in a modern forum, centred within the historic town, helping to bring skills, culture and learning together. Owned and managed by Camborne Town Council, the Community Hub will serve the Town and its wider community, becoming a new civic home for One and All for many years to come.