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St Ives Town Deal projects are to be submitted to the government for final approval later this summer.

St Ives rooftops

Last year, the St Ives Town Deal Board successfully bid for a deal worth £19.9 million from the government’s Town Fund Scheme. This was based on a Town Investment Plan (TIP) which identified a mix of large-scale transformation
projects together with a number of smaller-scale community projects, aimed at delivering the vision and aims developed in consultation with the local community.

The Town Investment Plan is focused around three key themes:

  • An integrated, low-carbon transport system
  • New skills, businesses, jobs, and supply chains
  • New and transformed housing and community assets

During the past 12 months, the organisations behind the shortlisted projects in the TIP have been working on demonstrating the feasibility of their project through the development of business cases. This prerequisite to unlocking any Towns Fund investment includes setting out in detail the cost, scope, and delivery mechanism of each project, as well as outlining key milestones and construction dates.

Options for the final programme were discussed at a special meeting of the Town Deal board, where members considered the viability of each project and the likelihood of securing any additional funding required, together with its potential for successfully delivering the vision and aims set out in the TIP.

It was decided that, due to the steep escalation of costs in the construction sector, and the ongoing level of risk associated with some of the match funding, nine of the projects initially listed in the TIP were in a position to be taken forward.

The funding allocated to projects which have not been included in the final programme (Palais de Danse, the Bay to Bay cycle scheme, and the Vertical Farming Project) will be re-allocated to provide additional support for some of the remaining projects. These will include the Guildhall, Leach Pottery, affordable housing, and low-carbon transport hub projects.

Important step forward

The board also unanimously supported that a part of the funding remains allocated to the development of digital skills, which was a core part of one of the projects not being progressed. This will ensure that the strategic vision for the TIP remains unchanged.

“This is such an important step forward that brings St Ives a step closer to unlocking the government’s Towns Fund investment,” said Karen Fielding, community sector representative on the Town Deal Board.

“We would like to thank all of the project leads for providing such thorough business cases in a very limited and financially complex environment.

“Our original bid was designed to deliver three key objectives:

  • Generate inclusive green growth and new enterprise, within a year-round economy
  • Support the health, wellbeing ,and aspiration of all residents in life and work
  • Create opportunities for young people which allow them to flourish

“Delivering these projects will enable us to deliver our vision to level up our economy, bring opportunities for everyone who lives and works here, and provide quality employment and real aspiration for all in an environmentally sustainable way.”

The nine projects being taken forward are:

  • Low-carbon transport
  • Rugby Club / affordable housing
  • Old Vicarage Flats
  • LiveWest retrofit scheme
  • Delegated Fund for Renewal
  • Guildhall
  • St Ives Theatre
  • Leach Pottery and Digital Trail
  • St Ives Community Orchard

Cllr Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for economy, said: “We fought hard to secure one of the biggest settlements in the country when the Town Deals were announced last year, and I am delighted to see that work now beginning to come to fruition.

“I know how much effort has been put into the Town Investment Plan, and it is gratifying to see it reflect Cornwall Council’s overarching objective, to work with communities for a carbon neutral Cornwall, where everyone can start well, live well, and age well.

“This is good news for St Ives and the surrounding area, and I look forward to seeing the plans approved and work started.”