Awarded a total of £3.1 million from the St Ives Town Deal Fund, the St Ives Guildhall Renewal project has received its first grant payment of £308,000, marking an exciting step forward in the plans to restore and improve this much-loved building.
“We are delighted to see the Guildhall Renewal project moving forward thanks to the Town Deal funding. 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,” said Gareth Jones, Vice Chair of the St Ives Town Deal Board.
“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 £19.9 million 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.
The Guildhall Renewal Project will celebrate the historic building’s rich past, confirming its role as the civic and cultural heart of the town and re-imagining it for future generations.
“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,” said Councillor Kirsty Arthur, Chair of Facilities Committee. “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 fit for 21st century, bringing in energy efficiency and sound reduction measures, plus a high-quality audio and visual set up.
- Introducing a versatile and comfortable new seating system, that is 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.
Heritage Architects, Purcell, who were appointed as the design team earlier this year, are currently working on the plans and designs ahead of the submission of the planning application. If approved, work on the project will begin this Autumn, with the Guildhall then re-opening in Spring 2025.
While the lower floor of the hall will close for the works, the Town Council’s reception, offices and the Guildhall upper rooms will remain open to the public.
For more information about the Guildhall Renewal Project, visit https://stivesguildhall.co.uk/future
Nine projects have been approved to receive Government’s Town Deal Funding in St Ives. These include plans to create a low carbon transport system, support local business and jobs, and develop new skills and supply chains, as well as provide new and transformed housing and community assets.