Community Ownership funding has been secured to help the relocation of St Ives Archive to the historic Market House in the centre of town.

St Ives Market House
Photograph: St Ives Town Council

Plans involve the renovation of the first floor of Market House to bring the Archive back to the heart of the town. The distinctive grade II listed building will have an improved access and be opened up to the community for the first time in decades.

£275,000 has been awarded from the fund, which will enable the restoration and refurbishment works, improving the access to the building while enhancing the important historic features.

The Community Ownership Fund has so far awarded £71.4 million to 257 projects across the UK, and the St Ives Archive’s relocation to Market House is part of the third round of the fund.

Returning to the heart of the town, the Archive will be able to welcome more visitors, revealing a wealth of important local material. By moving to Market House, a unique local landmark building will be restored and safeguarded for the future.

The second community open day at Market House will take place this Friday (28th March) between 10am and 3pm. Today’s announcement will make the day more special as there is now great confidence that the project will become a reality.

All are welcome to take a look inside Market House, enjoy a celebratory slice of cake, and view the exhibition about Bryan Pearce, renowned St Ives artist, who portrayed Market House in his paintings, many times.

“I am absolutely delighted at this news!” said Tony Harris, chair of St Ives Town Council’s finance and general purposes committee. “St Ives Archive can realise their long-held dream of moving back into the heart of our community, where it belongs.

“The move to the Market House will help the centre provide archival and local history services for many more local people and visitors alike. This will help further safeguard and promote our local heritage for generations to come. Its new home, Market House has its own fascinating history and is a perfect match.

“Funding has made this possible, but it would not have happened without the trustees at the centre and the town council’s own team working tirelessly together.”

Lyn Burchess, chair of the archive said: “We have been working very closely with the town council for many months on this exciting project, with the aim of moving back into town. The Market House is an iconic building, and it’s a perfect fit for the Archive, allowing more people to access our wonderful heritage.”