The St Ives Guildhall Renewal project has received its first grant payment of £308,000, marking an exciting step forward in plans to restore and improve the much-loved building.

Guildhall exterior

“We are delighted to see the Guildhall Renewal project moving forward thanks to the Town Deal funding,” said Gareth Jones, vice-chair of the St Ives Ton Deal Board.

“The building has been at the centre of community and cultural activities in the town since 1939, and the regeneration project will ensure that it will continue to do so.

“We are thrilled that four of our projects have now started to receive their funding. We are continuing to work with the remaining projects and look forward to providing them with their grants in the coming months.”

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy, said: “This is great news for St Ives, which secured £19.9m from the government’s Town Deal to boost the town’s regeneration.

“The Guildhall is one of the key assets in the town that will receive this investment, as it will be transformed into a modern and vibrant cultural venue to enhance a flourishing creative sector.”

Managed by St Ives Town Council, the Guildhall has been delivering a mix of live entertainment and events to the local community for more than 85 years. The building also hosts popular local food and craft markets, including the weekly St Ives Farmers Market.

Kirsty Arthur, chair of the town council’s facilities committee, said: “As well as safeguarding the future of an important heritage building, the revitalised Guildhall will provide a high-quality year-round venue and programme for all potential audiences in St Ives and West Cornwall.

“It will also enable us to develop the town’s role as a national centre of heritage, arts and culture, and provide opportunities for careers in creative arts.

“We began our project to breathe new life into this amazing building in 2019. In 2021 we discovered we had been awarded Town Deal funding to support our regeneration plans. Receiving the first tranche of this once-in-a-lifetime funding is a key moment for everyone involved with the project as it enables us to move forward with realising our aims and ambitions.”

Specific plans for the project include:

  • Developing the front of the building to provide a warm welcome to all
  • Re-investing in the fabric of the building, bringing in energy efficiency and sound reduction measures, plus a high-quality audio and visual set-up
  • Introducing a versatile and comfortable seating system, quick to turn around to make the space more flexible
  • Creating a diverse programme of events and activities
  • Supporting the creative sector locally and nationally
  • Using the venue to provide jobs, training, and work experience opportunities for young people.

The project is being led by a local not-for-profit organisation, which will ensure that investment is recycled back into the local community.

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