What is St Ives Town Team?
The Town Team is a group of residents who work together to promote St Ives. They aim to make the Town a good place in which to live, work and visit. The Town Team and The Old Riverport scheme has the backing of the Town Council but we hope that it will prove to be a combined effort with individuals, organizations and businesses all contributing to its success.
Will you join us?
How the Town Team was formed
In 2010, St Ives celebrated the 900th anniversary of its market charter with a series of events around the town. During these 900 years the town has evolved, changed and adapted to meet the needs of its people and visitors, a process that continues today.
In the spring of 2011 the Town Plan was published and a community team was formed to progress the actions identified. Around this time the Government, with marketing expert Mary Portas, was promoting better high streets. St Ives made a bid for funding through this scheme and was awarded £10,000, which was matched by St Ives Town Council. The key partners came together to create the Town Team.
What has been done?
Initially the Town Team concentrated on those issues raised by the public consultations. One group worked on transport and environment matters, another on community projects, out of which the Our St Ives website developed. An economy group, after studying the history of the town, proposed naming the town centre The Old Riverport in recognition of the importance of St Ives as a major inland port. Many people know that St Ives was a significant market town, but its river heritage has largely been overlooked. The river is the feature that attracts many visitors to the town centre.
Why call it The Old Riverport?
We needed to find a special something that would set our town apart from its neighbours. It became clear during the research just how important the river had been over many centuries. Long before roads and railways were built the river was the only way to move heavy or bulky items. St Ives’ famous markets flourished because the river Great Ouse enabled goods from around the world to be brought to the town. This trade made St Ives one of the most important river ports in the country, and only ceased as recently as the 1930s. This heritage gives our town a unique selling point compared to most other market towns and a designation that defines us. We believe it is unique in the UK.
New signage, exhibitions and events including children's discovery days and river activities have been held. Consultations with businesses, particularly those on the 'high street', are helping to create a sense of place for residents and visitors alike.
What else is being done?
- Newly arrived residents are welcomed with a revised and updated Welcome Pack which includes an enhanced Town Guide.
- This website has been designed to promote the Old Riverport and bring all available information about St Ives to one place. The site includes a community area (Our St Ives), the official sites of the Town Council, Norris Museum and Corn Exchange, plus a section for businesses and tourists. A complimentary town map and leaflet is available from The Corn Exchange, the Town Hall, Norrris Museum and Library.
- A new St Ives logo, designed to specifically identify St Ives, Cambridgeshire, is freely available for St Ives businesses to incorporate into their own identities. Consistent Riverport branding and marketing will make St Ives, Cambridgeshire, the place to be.
- Out-of-town marketing initiatives will promote The Old Riverport, particularly in Cambridge to take advantage of our guided bus links.
- Along with events already organised by FESt we hope to encourage entertainment throughout the year. The Town Team works with several groups, such as The Old Riverport Retail Group with the unique Snowman Festival, on projects to promote shopping in the town.
- We are currently organising The Old Riverport Jazz and Blues Festival, now in its 5th year, to be held from 19 to 22 September 2019.
- Businesses will be encouraged and helped to re-assess their own marketing and be part of the Old Riverport concept.
- The Old Riverport branding extends to a wide range of products and souvenir merchandising including, Christmas cards, calendars, T-shirts, posters and notelets.