The Old Riverport: New name for St Ives historic conservation area

The Old River Port Project, implementation working group, (l-r) Ian Jackson, Chris Morgan, Ian Dobson, Chris Lewis, The Old River Port Project, implementation working group, (l-r) Ian Jackson, Chris Morgan, Ian Dobson, Chris Lewis,

Monday, March 17, 2014
8:48 AM

St Ives’s heritage will be celebrated with a new name for its historic conservation area.

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How St Ives once looked.How St Ives once looked.

The town centre, including Market Hill, The Quay, The Waits, the Chapel on the Bridge and the surrounding riverside is to be known as The Old Riverport.

St Ives was one of the country’s busiest riverports and it is hoped identifying the area in this way will give it a clearly discernible “sense of place”.

It will boost current and new retailers and encourage people to use the town as a leisure destination for activities such as boating and visiting nature reserves.

It is also hoped the area will host events such as music and arts ­festivals as well as heritage and discovery days.

The renaming was suggested by Professor Chris Lewis, a member of the Town Team’s Economy Group, which proposed the idea to St Ives Town Council.

He told The Hunts Post: “We believe that the past holds the key to St Ives’ future. It is an attractive place and we looked at what it was in particular that people like about it, including its history.

“We decided what we needed to do was create a sense of place and St Ives has a considerable history as a port – for many hundreds of years, the port was the town’s biggest employer.

“The whole idea behind The Old Riverport is to give the people who live here, the people who do ­business here and the people who visit a concept they can identify with.

“We hope that businesses see it as something to focus on and we would love people who live and work within The Old Riverport to use it in their addresses.”

Prof Lewis described St Ives as the “gateway” to the Ouse Valley, and hoped people in Cambridge visit on the guided bus.

A group has been formed to help raise awareness of The Old Riverport and approval is being sought to put up signs defining its boundaries.

An event to herald the renaming will take place on Saturday, March 29, when the St Ives Electric Riverboat Company launches a new pontoon and leisure boat, the first in many years, on The Quay.

There will be live music, boat rides and a riverport exhibition in the Bridge Chapel.

Money to help promote The Old Riverport has been set aside by the Town Team from its £10,000 Portas award, with match-funding from the town council.

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