Derek Thomas MP welcomes news of Coastal Communities fund for St Ives

St Ives volunteers are celebrating today after the announcement of a £3.25m grant from the Coastal Communities Fund to create a futuristic enterprise hub for digital and creative industries in the heart of St Ives.

 The St Ives scheme will see the space underneath the town’s bus station, transformed into a distinctive ‘fish-eye’ hub, creating a Workstation for the digital sector.

As well as enjoying stunning views over the town and across St Ives Bay, the Workstation will be a spectacular community addition for St Ives as well as encouraging sustainable business growth.

The bid also includes the Portfolio Project identified as a priority in the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan which will enable the creation of new posts to support sustainable projects.

Rowena Swallow, from the St Ives Coastal Community Team, said she and the other members of the volunteer team were all “massively excited” at the news.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for St Ives,” she said.

“We intend to start work very soon on acquiring and converting what used to be a bus garage into an attractive venue for local start-ups, inward investors and existing local businesses. 

“This is a huge vote of confidence in the St Ives business community and a tremendous

opportunity to gain world-class facilities right in the heart of our town.”

Mr Thomas, who supported the initiative and lobbied Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, on behalf of the bid, said he was delighted that the work of the St Ives Coastal Community Team had paid off.

“The Coastal Communities Fund is different from many other funding streams in that it specifically looks for local community groups to come up with imaginative yet workable projects which draw on their in-depth local knowledge and enthusiasm,” he said.

“The volunteers in the St Ives Coastal Community Team have worked tirelessly on this hugely exciting scheme which will give St Ives a big economic boost while at the same time providing a spectacular new facility for the town.” 

Penzance had also hoped to receive £3.4 million from the same fund to give the harbour a new lease of life. On this occasion the bid was unsuccessful but the town has been advised to reapply in the summer. 

The funds would have been used for a reconfiguration of the harbour to provide an engineering hub, a hospitality facility for visitors and ferry passengers, marine leisure facilities and public realm work, creating almost 50 new jobs.