ST Ives town manager Jane Bowd has been made redundant after funding was withdrawn by the town council.

Mrs Bowd will leave her role on Tuesday (March 5) after four-and-a-half years working to promote the town centre.

Volunteers will take over her work.

In December, St Ives councillors agreed to cut £4,000 funding for the St Ives Town Initiative (SITI) from April. That was coupled with the staged withdrawal of around £20,000 from Huntingdonshire District Council over the next two years.

The announcement comes just weeks after figures showed that footfall in St Ives had risen 19.5 per cent since 2006, compared to a 20 per cent fall in St Neots and a 6.4 per cent drop in Huntingdon.

Mrs Bowd said: "I am sorry to be going. SITI just couldn't afford to have a paid employee after the cuts.

"I would never claim to be the only person to be working for St Ives but over the last four to five years I have done a lot of work to promote the town.

"Looking back, I was there for the meetings about the guided busway and now we see it as a success, bringing people into the town, the loyalty card - the first in Huntingdonshire - was introduced, and the timeline for the 900 years of the town was also built in the Sheep Market."

Angie Dickinson, SITI chairman, said: "The board of SITI was forced into making some very difficult and unwelcome decisions.

"Jane has worked tirelessly, not only on promoting the town but also forging relationships with other towns locally and nationally in order to share best practice. She has been a great asset to the town and she will be sorely missed."

David Hodge, who represents the council on SITI, said: "It's a sad day. St Ives will definitely lose as a result of this.

"The loss of £4,000 from the town council obviously has a lot to do with the decision.

"The town council believed in December that SITI should not have a paid officer, and it looks like they have got their way."