CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save the St Ives Corn Exchange from being sold off are holding a two-day public exhibition of their plans for the building. ANDREW McGILL reports In October, the Action Corn Exchange (ACE) group was given four months by St

How the interior of the building could look, with a stage for performances on the right side of the graphic - Pic: SUPPLIED

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save the St Ives Corn Exchange from being sold off are holding a two-day public exhibition of their plans for the building. ANDREW McGILL reports

In October, the Action Corn Exchange (ACE) group was given four months by St Ives Town Council to come up with a workable package to save the building.

The Corn Exchange has stood empty for five years while councillors wrangled over its future, and the next few months are finally crunch time for the facility.

ACE is due to report to St Ives council next month and is asking townspeople to offer their comments and views about the plans.

Ian Dobson, joint chairman of ACE, said: "This exhibition is about giving the people of St Ives the chance to come along and see what the working party has already put together and offer suggestions on how it can be improved.

"A lot of hard work has been done by ACE over the past few months, meeting twice a week to try to figure out a package to save the hall."

Members of ACE report they have been inundated by groups pledging to use the Corn Exchange should it be reopened.

ACE has distributed leaflets to every home in St Ives advertising the exhibition and is hopeful of a positive response.

The exhibition will showcase:

- Ideas for the formation of a Corn Exchange trust and a charitable company

- Plans for the building

- Building costs and possible grant funding options

- Continued community involvement

- Potential users of the building

- An outline business plan

ACE will also be launching a building pledge form, asking the public and local businesses to pledge money towards the refurbishment costs when the project reaches construction stage.

Mr Dobson added: "The building is in such a prime location with footfall right on to the market place, it would be a travesty to see it sold off for commercial gain.

"We invite the people of the town to come along to put forward their ideas and see our plans so far."

INFORMATION: The exhibition will be displayed in St Ives Free Church on Friday, January 19, 10am-6pm and on Saturday, January 20, 10am-4pm. Members of the public interested in supporting ACE or as potential users of the Corn Exchange should contact Paula Luter, at The Fold, Priory Road, St Ives PE27 5BB, or call 01480 300963.