Cornwall to have its own separate bank holiday?


Cornwall to have its own separate bank holiday?PA

Councillors in Cornwall have voted in favour of turning its 'national' saint day into a bank holiday - just for Cornwall.

Just as Ireland's St Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide, some members of the council committee and local businesses predict a St Piran's Day (5 March) bank holiday could bring a big boost to the local tourist industry.

Many pub landlords have reaped the commercial benefits of hearty St Piran's Day celebrations by organising themed events.

Supporters of the idea claim Cornish people already treat it as a holiday, and claim it attracts more tourists to these lively celebrations.

But critics fear that businesses will be harmed if Cornwall has a day off when the rest of the UK is working, with the potential to confuse visitors.

Councillor Steve Double told the Guardian: 'I am proud to be Cornish but I struggle to see how it will actually work if we have a different bank holiday to the rest of the country.

Double, who used to work in a bank, said he could foresee difficulties if banks were closed on 5 March in Cornwall but not across the rest of the country.

St Piran is the patron saint of tin miners, accepted by many as Cornwall's national saint, and his flag – a white cross on a black background – will be familiar to many holidaymakers.

According to the St Piran Trust, he was probably born in Ireland in the 6th century. Legend has him being tied to a millstone in Ireland and rolled off a cliff into a choppy sea, which immediately became calm upon his landing, and he floated safely to Cornwall.

The corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee was split 50-50 over the idea of a separate bank holiday and it took the casting vote of the chairman to push it through. The idea will now be debated by the full council.

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