St Ives Community Orchard and Wildlife Reserve will begin building a new environmentally sustainable facility at the end of the month thanks to funding from the St Ives Town Deal Fund.
It is the first of nine capital projects across the town to start construction. The Community Orchard team received £329k from the Town Deal Fund after an initial £14k last year for preparatory work for a new community facility on Penbeagle Hill. A final payment of £16k will follow in July.
St Ives is among 100 towns across the country successful in its bid for funding from the Government’s Town Deal Fund. Following the review of the Town Investment Plan, the town was awarded £19.9 million to support the proposed regeneration plans.
“This is great news – both for the St Ives Community Orchard and for the St Ives Town Deal programme,” said Gareth Jones, vice chairman of the St Ives Town Deal Board.
“Since receiving confirmation of the Government’s initial funding payment last September, everyone has been working very hard to get the contracts signed and the funding released to the nine projects as quickly as possible.
“St Ives Community Orchard is the first project to have its funding released, and we look forward to the remaining projects receiving their funding in the coming months.”
Based in the beautiful 30-acre Community Orchard & Nature Reserve site overlooking the town, the new building will provide a vibrant community asset, delivering environmental education, workshops, skills training, nature-based training and community events to individuals, local groups and schools.
Activities will include daily workshops and training all year round on subjects such as permaculture, beekeeping, willow weaving, herbal remedies and cosmetics, natural dyes, brewing and grafting: all using materials grown and produced on site in an expanded community garden and orchard.
The project will also create new jobs and provide opportunities for local self-employed trainers to share their knowledge and skills as well as a space for meetings, community activities and a repair cafe.
Part the Government’s plan for Levelling Up the UK economy, the Town Deal Fund aims to regenerate the towns and boost the local economy across the regions.