St Ives Town Council has successfully negotiated a deal with Cornwall Council that will protect and enhance 46 spaces in the parish.

Johnnie Wells land deal
St Ives mayor Johnnie Wells with the £1 paid for the land

These include parks such as Richmond Gardens, empty buildings such as Barnoon Workshop, and the empty Longstone Chapel. Income-generating property, including the Sloop car park, will help to fund the additional running costs and new services that will be enabled by the package.

For the town council, the aims of the package are to:

  • Protect important green spaces and re-imagine them for future generations;
  • Direct important investment into heritage buildings and bring them back into use; and
  • Use commercial income to support investment and help the council run services.

For some tenanted properties, such as the NCI coastwatch base and the museum, the council aims to be a responsible long-term landlord and ensure these community facilities are protected.

With such a large programme, it will time and resources to complete the handover. The target is for four parcels of sites and buildings to be transferred over two years.

“We are stoked that the cabinet of Cornwall Council has supported the transfer of such important buildings and spaces to St Ives Town Council for the sum of £1…” said St Ives mayor Johnnie Wells. “We thank the officers and members of the council for their work and commitment to managing services locally.”

Rachael Gaunt, chair of the Town Council Devolution Panel, added: “Today marks the beginning of an important new chapter for our parish. By working together with Cornwall Council and other stakeholders as a trusted partner, we can secure a bright future for much-loved open spaces and buildings. We see our role as a custodian, working for the benefit of the communities we serve.”

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