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The government has signed off Town Deal funding for projects in the St Ives area, three days ahead of the opening of the G7 Summit.

Photograph: St Ives Town Deal

St Ives will receive a £19.9m share of some £65m, the rest of the cash going to projects in Penzance, Newlyn, and Camborne.

The money was made available to bid for in 2019, when the Conservatives won the general election. Nationally, 45 towns — mostly with Conservative MPs — are set to benefit.

Innovative and exciting

Prime minister, Boris Johnson, said: “As the eyes of the world look to Cornwall this week, not only will they see an area of outstanding beauty, they will witness a region that is innovative, exciting and looking firmly towards a bright future.

“The exciting projects we have announced today are a fitting legacy for a region playing host to some of the most important diplomatic talks in a generation. As the world builds back better from coronavirus, Cornwall will lead the way.”

St Ives MP, Derek Thomas, added: “This funding will go to projects in the heart of our communities, creating long-term, sustainable jobs, and re-establishing St Ives and Penzance as cultural and economic centres.”

Projects

The St Ives Town Deal Board has been working on this project for a year and a half. Chaired by Sarah Stevens, it has identified several projects which will benefit from financial support. These include:

  • Refurbishment of the historic Palais de Danse building, on Back Street, which was purchased by Dame Barbara Hepworth in 1961, and which was listed last year. A venture with Tate St Ives.
  • A major low-carbon transport hub and gateway, integrating train and bus connections, with electric vehicle and e-bike and e-taxi travel within the town centre, supported by solar power canopies with the provision to feed back into the grid.
  • A bay-to-bay multi-use trail. Five miles of new or upgraded cycle or walking paths between St Erth and St Ives.

Sarah Stevens, chair of St Ives Town Deal Board, said: “What fantastic news for St Ives! Thank you to everyone that helped make this happenm especially the local residents, town and Cornwall council, and MP Derek Thomas. A special thanks to St Ives Town Deal directors, who have volunteered their time and shown passion and commitment, which has made this possible. When we stand together we are stronger.

“More details about specific project and conditions still to come. This is just the start of great things. Let’s celebrate and bask in the glory. Onwards and upwards.”

Mayor of St Ives, Kirsty Arthur, said on social media: “I’ve sat on the board of the town investment deal since autumn last year and it was a huge amount of effort from a lot of unpaid people whose biggest care was the town.

“One of the things we requested in the G7 Legacy package was that our town investment plan be signed off and announced, so this is amazing and most welcome news!”

Innovation

St Ives councillor Linda Taylor, Conservative leader of Cornwall Council, said:“We are delighted to have joined with the government to put the finishing touches on Cornwall’s preparations for the 2021 G7 Leaders Summit.

“Since the recent local elections, the Conservative administration has worked hard to push the town deals for Penzance, St Ives, and Camborne towards the finish line, and it is absolutely fantastic to have these confirmed today, with the eyes of the world on us.

“Cornwall is already famous for our stunning environment, heritage, history, and culture; today’s announcements will help us not only protect and enhance what we already have, but puts us firmly down the path of innovation, leading the way in sustainable and new ways of working.

“We hope that the world leaders will come away from their time in Cornwall inspired, enthusiastic, and energised with what they have seen, and take home a little bit of what makes our Cornwall so special.”