On Monday evening around 28 people representing local businesses, community groups and the Town Council attended an exploratory meeting at Slepe Hall Hotel to discuss ways to improve St Ives town centre. The initiative is the idea of local businessman William Scantlebury, who runs a business networking group and whose members want to see the town thrive. Having made contact with many town organisations, including the Town Team, Festival Events St Ives, The Corn Exchange, St Ives Town Initiative and the Town Council, William invited these groups along with business representatives to discuss what might be done to improve footfall, attracting more people to spend their time and money in the town centre.
Using data collected from the Town Team‘s recent survey, plus comments from local Facebook posts about the issues affecting the town centre, delegates discussed potential ideas that might be implemented. It was recognised that it might be possible to achieve more if all organisations involved could work together, making the most of limited resources and supporting a coherent plan of marketing to attract more visitors. The meeting also discussed steps that need to be taken to make those improvements highlighted in the surveys, including parking issues, cleanliness, accessibility and how to attract a wider range of shopper. William thanked those who attended saying ‘We shared a lot of great ideas and had some good discussions. It is clear that the people of St Ives are passionate about helping the town to thrive and want to see it succeed. We have 19 people who have volunteered to join the working group, which is great news and I will be contacting them soon to arrange the next meeting where I hope to start making some initial moves towards a whole town plan’. HDC are due to start work on the ‘Prospectus for Economic Growth’ in St Ives and it is hoped this group will be able to influence its ideas. William continued ‘I will keep HDC informed of our progress so that we are completely open and transparent in our work in the hope that when the time comes we can work with them towards a shared goal’.
William thanked Slepe Hall for the use of their room and the Town Team for paying for the teas and coffee. If you wish to contact William with your ideas you can do so by emailing him at: [email protected]