How Will Nine Projects Help To ‘Level Up’ St Ives?
St Ives has put forward nine projects which aim to provide affordable homes, jobs, a greener transport system and a greater focus on the arts. Housing Industry Leaders explores the projects and how they hope to level up the town.

As outlined in St Ives Town Deal Board’s ‘Major step forward for St Ives Town Deal’ document, last year the St Ives Town Deal Board successfully big for a Town Deal with £19.9 million from the Government’s Town Fund Scheme.

Support Will Be Given To Transport, Businesses, Jobs and Housing

Based on a Town Investment Plan (TIP), it identified a mix of large-scale transformation projects together with some smaller-scale community projects. The Town Investment Plan is focused on three key themes:

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

Now, over the past 12 months St Ives Town Deal Board, with input from residents and businesses, has come up with a list of nine projects that it wants to see funded under the Town Fund Scheme.

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

“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, and 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.

Cornwall Has A Major Housing Crisis To Overcome

Housing is a key issue for St Ives, as back in March 2020, Cornwall announced that there were around 9,000 on its Homechoice Register and by January 2022, the figure had risen to 21,200 (135%). Rents have dramatically increased over the last two years as the supply of rented housing has reduced.

In Cornwall, in March 2022, The Local Democracy Reporting Service found that the average monthly rental costs were £1,048, a 26 per cent higher than the national average of £831.

Three of the nine projects that St Ives wants to focus on will look at creating affordable homes and improving the energy efficiency of social housing in the town.

Rugby Club Scheme involves a major repositioning and refurbishment of the Rugby Club facilities which are sited on land owned by Cornwall Council.

Currently, there are no high-quality sports facilities for the community in St Ives, this project will therefore create a modern clubhouse facility with two full-size sports pitches for use by the club and the local community.

In addition to this, it will free up land to create new affordable homes for key workers and extra care housing.

Old Vicarage Flats project will be run and operated by the St Ives Community Land Trust and will see the renovation of the Old Vicarage building to provide six high-quality and affordable flats for residents.

Retrofitting Programme Aims To Make Houses Cheaper And Warmer For Residents

While the St Ives LiveWest project will focus on retrofitting, seeing an energy-efficient retrofitting programme be carried out to 200 of the worst-performing social housing properties in the town.

Led by LiveWest, the work aims to improve the thermal efficiency of the buildings and reduce drafts, heat loss, and the reliance on carbon-based heating systems, creating greener homes which are hoped to be cheaper and warmer for the people to live in.

It will also work with residents to integrate sustainable transport and waste and recycling improvements into estates in the town and help to develop local green skills and employment opportunities.

All The Projects Will Be Completed By The End Of 2026

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for economy, Cllr Louis Gardner, 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.

Business cases for the nine projects are said to now be subjected to a rigorous assurance process led by Cornwall Council before the programme is sent to the government for final approval.

Funding confirmation from the government is expected to be seen this autumn, paving the way for a detailed programme of works and timescales to be developed by early April 2023.

All the Town Deal funding must be spent by the end of March 2026 and while the smaller-scale projects are said to be completed early in the programme, the larger-scale transformation projects will take longer to deliver due to being more complex and potentially requiring additional external funding.

However, all the projects are expected to be completed by the end of the Town Deal programme in 2026.