A Town Deal Board has been formed to help St Ives get its share of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund announced by the government at the end of 2019.
The fund has been established to increase economic growth, with a focus on regeneration, improved transport, better broadband connectivity, skills, and culture.
St Ives ‘Town Deal Board represents private, public and community sectors. It comprises: Sarah Stevens (chair), Steve Cross (vice-chair), Poppy Naylor, Andrew Baragwanath, James Butterworth, Libby Buckley, Raven Williams, Neil Davis, Rowena Swallow, Cllr Andrew Mitchell, Cllrr Linda Taylor, Cllr Tony Harris, and Derek Thomas MP.
Cornwall Council has employed a dedicated member of staff to act as the Town Deal Lead for St Ives, and Lucy Davis started this work on 27th April.
Sarah Stevens said: “I’m honoured to have been appointed to St Ives Town Deal Board and look forward to working alongside my fellow board members, businesses, local leaders, and most importantly, the local community.
“St Ives is my home. I saw this as a chance for me to use my skills to support the long-term investment into St Ives, building on our many assets and making it a better place to work, live, visit, and enhancing the wellbeing for all.
“The board has a real mix of skills and intrinsic links within the local community, and I thank them all for getting involved to ensure St Ives gets the most value possible from this fund, and we need your help to do this.
“With a young family of my own and seeing them growing up as I did in St Ives, the future of the town matters to me, so let us know your thoughts and ideas: have your say. The town has a brighter future if we all work together.”
The Town Deal Board is now starting the first stage of forming a Town Investment Plan, which will set out the priority projects that St Ives wants to put forward to the fund. They will be asking: what we want our local economy to do for us; how we can make it stronger and more resilient to external shocks; and how can we make sure everyone who lives here is included and has the skills and opportunities they want.
The Town Investment Plan is due to be submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government for consideration in October this year. If approved, St Ives will then work towards a Town Deal, detailing exactly how the money will be spent. The focus is on the economy and making St Ives a better place to live and, ultimately, a better place to visit.
The people of St Ives have shown great resilience in the face of Covid-19 and new enterprise pathways are opening up, as businesses adapt to the changing conditions. The Town Investment Plan presents an opportunity to boost the local economy further, says the board, for example to: strengthen local industries; expand local production and processing capabilities; generate renewable energy; create opportunities for young people and aspiring business start-ups; support small businesses to prosper; and invest in local culture and heritage projects.
The St Ives Town Investment Plan must be business-led, and over the next few months the board will be working to engage as many businesses as possible. But it must also reflect what the community wants for the economic future of their town, and there will be the chance for everyone to give their views.
The board are now setting up sub-groups to work on specific aspects of the plan.
Anyone — individuals or businesses — interested in getting involved in the process is welcome to join a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, 27th May, at 4pm. If you’d like to join the meeting, please email email@example.com before Tuesday, 26th May, and an invitation will be sent to you.
You can email Lucy for more information about the plan, or call her on 07395 836210.