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Monday, 17 December, 2001, 12:02 GMT
Campaigners light torch for docks
Hayle Harbour
Hayle has become a commercial backwater
A "flame of hope" is to burn over Hayle harbour in Cornwall to keep alive dreams of regenerating the declining town.

Successive plans to bring new prosperity to the port have failed to go beyond the drawing board.

Now a beacon has been erected on a parapet, 40 feet up the steeple of St Elwyn's parish church.

In the 1970s, thousands of jobs were lost in the west Cornwall town, with the closure of a power station and then a foundry.

We people in Hayle are not going to let go now. We are going to get our regeneration

Jeremy Joslin, Hayle campaigner
Jeremy Joslin, a town campaigner, said Hayle subsided into decay.

The flame of hope was partly intended to to apply pressure for redevelopment to go ahead.

Mr Joslin said: "This is a visible symbol.

"We are tantalisingly close now and we are holding everyone to agreement.

"We people in Hayle are not going to let go now. We are going to get our regeneration."

A scheme for a marina, shops, cafes and hundreds of new homes was only recently withdrawn.

A new plan is expected to be submitted by the development company London & Amsterdam early in 2002.

A cost of around 150m has been quoted in the past.

Promoters have offered the prospect of 1,500 jobs coming to Hayle, which stands at the head of an estuary opening into St Ives Bay.

The flame was due to be lit on Monday evening by the head boy and head girl of Hayle Community School.

Mr Joslin said: "It is the school children who will benefit most from this.

"The youngsters will be able to stay in Hayle and work in Hayle."

See also:

05 Oct 01 | England
Farewell to New York hero
18 Sep 01 | UK
Flame of hope could die
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