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Phillip chips in to rescue Huer's Hut

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 05, 2014

  • HIGH-PROFILE SUPPORTER: TV presenter Phillip Schofield, below, has helped to save the Huer's Hut after pledging £8,000 to an online funding appeal.

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TV PRESENTER Phillip Schofield has helped save Newquay's iconic Huer's Hut after donating £8,000 to an online funding appeal.

In an exclusive interview, the This Morning presenter told the Cornish Guardian he had been following the appeal's progress closely.

"I watched the campaign to look after the hut very carefully and it wasn't very successful; it closed before I really got to grips with how to donate, as well as how poorly it had all become," he said.

The campaign to save the grade two listed landmark was launched under the Crowdfund Cornwall banner, and aimed to raise £10,000 to cover the cost of repair work, but failed to reach its target.

When the deadline passed only 20 per cent of the amount needed had been pledged, but the project was relaunched on Friday and as the Cornish Guardian went to press £10,385 had been pledged.

Mr Schofield said: "We should continue to look at the history of the town. People always complain when things are gone; people only grumble when it's not there, so I thought, 'This is just something else in Newquay we're going to lose'."

Having grown up in Newquay and been a pupil at Treviglas Community College, Mr Schofield said he had retained a keen interest in Newquay's heritage.

"I really want to see how the work goes on," he said. "This is an ongoing project, and these old buildings are expensive to maintain, but hopefully this is the kick-start it needs to save it in the future."

Jon Goodman, who is behind the Crowdfund Cornwall appeal, thanked Mr Schofield for his generous donation.

"I'm proud to say that Phillip Schofield has shown his true colours and helped save our hut," he said. "I'm overjoyed."

Cornwall councillor Geoff Brown, who has campaigned to secure funds for a full refurbishment of the hut, praised Mr Goodman for his efforts to raise the cash, and Mr Schofield for his support.

"Phillip's a Newquay lad," he said. "I've known him since he was growing up, and it's great he's still so committed to the town.

"He's a good local boy."

It is thought the hut began to decay after council workers tried to repair it with cement instead of porous lime mortar, and a chemical reaction with the existing lime left the structure brittle.

Mr Brown said Cornwall Council, which leases it, was working hard to secure £25,000 to restore it. "The Huer's Hut is probably the town's most iconic building. Now we can bring it back to an acceptable standard," he said.

Mr Schofield said: "In a county where floods have caused utter devastation and funds are limited, it's great that the council's behind this.

"I used to go out on my bike with my mates, cycling around the hut, and I can't imagine what it would be like without it. The best years of my life were in Newquay, so I'm only too happy to give something back."

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