Communities Like Us – St Ives Community Land Trust (CLT)
Like us, there are a number of other community-led organisations in Devon and Cornwall, and from time to time each of us have a campaign to expand our membership and raise share capital. One of the seven co-operative principles is to be ‘co-operative amongst co-operatives’. So we are wanting to introduce you to a different community-led organisation each time we do an update. Together we can build a community of people and organisations that share a vision for a stronger, more inclusive future in the South West (and beyond).
St Ives Community Land Trust (CLT), established in 2015, is a non-profit organisation set up to promote and ensure democratic local ownership of land and buildings for the benefit of its community. Constituted as a Community Benefit Society (CBS), its aims to facilitate the provision of community buildings, economic premises and affordable housing in St Ives and its surrounding wards – whether this is through conversion, retention or development of a new asset, it is all done with community-led ambition.
The CLT is already underway with a number of projects and has over 200 members – the majority of which have invested in a recent community share offer that raised almost £240,000. This was paired with a small loan and put towards their first scheme – the purchase and conversion of the St Ives Old Vicarage building. The CLT will use the funding to deliver six genuinely affordable homes for local people. They have planning permission in place for the development of a mix of 1 and 2-bed flats. As a part of the refurb, the CLT has ambition for sustainable and environmental improvements, offering energy-efficient properties and lower energy bills to the tenants. Although the recent share offer has closed, there is still an opportunity for you to donate – read here for more information.
In addition to the CLT’s proposal for the Old Vicarage Flats, after consultation with members and the community and in line with the local neighbourhood plan, an aspiration was highlighted for the Old Town Fire Station to be converted to a craft business space. It would offer eight local businesses both affordable rent and access to business support. There are already a number of interested stakeholders, but this project has been on the CLT’s radar for over eight years. Community-led development can’t work without support from its local people. If you’d like to hear more about any of the projects offered by St Ives CLT, or have a local connection to St Ives and want to stay updated, click here and become a member.