THERE are no plans to sell the St Ives Corn Exchange - or turn it into a theme pub - according to the Mayor of St Ives, Councillor Doug Dew. He told The Hunts Post: Nothing has been decided. There are no plans to sell the site - or to turn it into a the
THERE are no plans to sell the St Ives Corn Exchange - or turn it into a theme pub - according to the Mayor of St Ives, Councillor Doug Dew.
He told The Hunts Post: "Nothing has been decided.
"There are no plans to sell the site - or to turn it into a theme pub. I expect that someone at a meeting made a remark about talking to Wetherspoons and it went no further than that."
Cllr Dew added: "We have a hall everyone wants, a bit at the back that could be developed and a listed front facade that needs a quarter of a million spent on it.
"Of course we want to save the Corn Exchange, but only if we can afford it. We can't spend £100,000 a year on it out of a budget of £400,000. We can't spend a quarter of our budget on something that is not a statutory duty.
"It may be that we can find a partner who can develop the back of the site and repair the facade as a commercial venture so that we can afford to restore the hall. I think a joint venture would work if someone came forward."
Saving St Ives Corn Exchange will be discussed at a special meeting tomorrow (Thursday) between campaigners and St Ives town councillors.
Cllr Dew and the chairman of the Corn Exchange Committee, Cllr John Vickery, will answer questions put by members of ACE (Action Corn Exchange), Nick Dibben and former St Ives councillor, Ian Dobson.
ACE, which wants the building restored for the community, wants to know: why the idea of forming a trust to redevelop the Corn Exchange was dropped, why councillors want the site sold and whether there are plans to use it as a theme pub.
Cllr Dew said the idea of setting up a trust had not been dropped, it was "just not pursued". He added that the state of the hall was so poor that it would need demolition and rebuilding.
"We want a meeting to have a frank exchange of views, so that ACE can put their questions and get some answers. But we want to work towards a consensus and go forward. There is no point in just having a post mortem about how we got to where we are."
INFORMATION: The meeting tomorrow is private. There will be a meeting of the town council, open to the public, on Wednesday, October 11, with time at the end to discuss the Corn Exchange.