East Looe Town Trust - Project

This is a new project and more information will be added as and when it is available

'East Looe Town Trust (ELTT) is inviting tenders from suitably qualified historians to undertake comprehensive research into the history of the Old Lifeboat Station and three associated lifeboats, and to establish a new searchable website to showcase it. We understand that there is funding available for this part of the project

East Looe Town Trust is the charity responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of three listed buildings:

  • The Guildhall,
  • The Old Guildhall Museum & Gaol,
  • The Old Lifeboat Station & Watchtower. ELTT is also responsible for common areas, including the beach, promenade, car parking and the Wooldown. The Trust has been awarded funding from the Cornwall and Isles of Scillies Good Growth Fund to deliver the multifaceted ‘Old Lifeboat Station and Watchtower Heritage Led Regeneration Project’; with partnership funding from ELTT and others. The semi-derelict Old Lifeboat Station and Watchtower (‘OLS’) is now used as a building materials store and formerly for seasonal art sales. It is under-appreciated for its heritage value and OLS is diminishing East Looe seafront because it is in poor condition.
  • This project will refurbish and repurpose the OLS. We want to:
  • Create two low carbon workplaces with full disabled access and suitable staff facilities.
  • Commission a free on-line Looe lifeboats history/archive.
  • Promote the Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol.
  • Signpost a new OLS ‘Devon & Cornwall’s Great Scenic Railways’ circular walk explaining the Wooldown conservation sites, and historic town.
  • Kickstart Church End Character Area’s regeneration.
  • Reveal and deploy Looe’s cultural heritage to stimulate spending. The Old Lifeboat Station and Watchtower is Grade II listed building. It was constructed in 1866 by public subscription following many wrecks and drownings in Looe Bay.  Generations of Looe men crewed the three sailing and pulling lifeboats that gave service until the station was closed in 1930.

Project manager, Jane Day said, "For 64 years whole families rallied at the Station when the rocket maroons boomed and man-hauled the lifeboat for each launch and recovery.  The new online history and archive will bridge the years between the heroic rescues of the past and Looe families of today.  It will also tell the lifeboats’ story for the benefit of Looe’s many visitors in person and online, in the context of the rich maritime heritage of the port."

The Old Lifeboat Station at Looe
Restored Ryder lifeboat stationed at Looe 1902 - 1930.

More about the Project

A £289,000 AWARD from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will kick start the regeneration of East Looe’s seafront. East Looe Town Trust’s Old Lifeboat Station and Watchtower (“OLS”) Heritage Led Regeneration Project has successfully bid for this substantial funding, in the face of stiff competition, without which this multifaceted project would have been impossible. The semi-derelict listed OLS has been used as part building materials store and seasonal art sales. It’s under-appreciated for its heritage value and its poor condition is depressing East Looe seafront. East Looe Town Trust will be investing around £100,000 of its own funds in the project with further support from funders The repurposed building will create two unique workplaces for Looe providing renewable energy and decent staff facilities. The Watchtower will become a low-carbon workplace for ELTT staff, freeing up their present offices in the listed Guildhall. ELTT will evaluate the repurposing of the Guildhall offices to boost the economy of the historic town centre.

The Boatshed will become a flexible modern workspace offering an exciting opportunity for many types of new business from workshop, to commercial or retail. Both new workspaces will offer year-round employment and increase the footfall, vitality and appearance of the seafront. An online Looe lifeboats’ history and archive will be commissioned that brings together the exciting exhibits held in the Looe Museum with a wealth of documents data and photograph donated by Project Ryder – the charity that operated the restored Ryder Looe lifeboat. The focus will be on the crews who gave service between 1866 and 1930, connecting with many of today’s Looe families. A new ‘Devon & Cornwall’s Great Scenic Railways’ circular walk will lead seafront visitors through the Wooldown’s wartime and conservation sites, and the historic town.

ELTT Manager Jane Day said, “We thank everyone for the strong support we have received for the project. Once restored, the Old Lifeboat Station, and its information display will help recreate the sense of place around Looe’s iconic landmark. Our project is a perfect fit for the heritage led regeneration strand of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Fund and we are grateful for their investment in Looe. The project has got off to a great start.” The project is being funded with the help of a £289,000 investment from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Culture and Heritage-led Regeneration and Skills programme, which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Cllr Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, said: “It is heartening to see that this award from the Shared Prosperity Fund will be put to such innovative use and help secure and transform these buildings for the benefit of the community. It means that not only will local heritage be preserved, it will be given a new lease of life and play its part in regenerating our places and communities.” Leading conservation architects Le Page have been appointed to deliver the construction work, and an invitation to tender for the online history will be issued soon. We look forward to working with the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership on the heritage and conservation walk.

The OLS heritage led regeneration project is grateful to have received essential financial support from The Carew Pole Family Trust, Project Ryder charity, Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, Cornwall Cllr Armand Toms community chest, Looe U3A.

The website is under construction the link will be active in due course