ST IVES historic Corn Exchange building is to be sold to the highest bidder. At an extraordinary meeting of St Ives Town Council last night (Wednesday), the council rejected a rescue package to save the building put forward by a community group. Action C
ST IVES' historic Corn Exchange building is to be sold to the highest bidder.
At an extraordinary meeting of St Ives Town Council last night (Wednesday), the council rejected a rescue package to save the building put forward by a community group.
Action Corn Exchange had produced a plan to keep the building but the council voted against it - by 10 votes to five. Despite impassioned pleas from Councillor Brian Luter not to 'sell the family silver', the council rejected the proposals, instead pledging to build a new community centre elsewhere in the town - at a site yet to be identified.
More than 100 townspeople had crowded into the Free Church for the three-hour meeting, where they heard ACE's redevelopment figure of £1.26million called into question by the council's own advisors.
After the meeting, St Ives Mayor Cllr Doug Dew said: "Whilst the ACE plan has been well-prepared, its figures just do not add up. We know this will be an unpopular decision to many people, but sometimes that is what councils have to do.
"The council is not in the business of risking the electors' money."
Nick Dibben, co-chairman of ACE, said: "We are obviously disappointed in the council's decision, but we are pleased that the council has pledged to build a new community centre in the town - though we have absolutely no idea where it might go."
Attention will now turn to the site of the new community centre - and the sale of the Corn Exchange. The building's frontage is protected by planning laws but the remainder of the site has no such restriction.
The Corn Exchange dates back to the 1860s. It closed in 2001 due to structural concerns.
Read a full report on the meeting - and analysis of what will happen next to the Corn Exchange - in the next edition of The Hunts Post, out on Wednesday, May 9.
What are your views on the sale of the Corn Exchange? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the news desk on 01480 411481.