Plans to update a venue in St Ives that is more than 80 years old would make a secluded part of the town “more lively”, according to plans submitted to Cornwall Council.

The proposals by St Ives Town Council will “transform” the offerings at St Ives Guildhall while maintaining the building as an important civic asset of the town.

Located on Street-An-Pol at the heart of the town, the Guildhall has served as a vital community hub since 1939, providing a space for social gatherings, civic functions and cultural events.

A new project aims to renew St Ives Concert Hall, to develop a vibrant and locally based live event and performance venue at the heart of St Ives. The existing concert hall is currently used for a variety of event types including live music events, farmers’ markets, weddings, and other community uses.

The design proposals focus on three main areas of the existing building: the Entry Plaza and Colonnade, the Entrance Foyer and the Concert Hall. The entrance lobby would be changed into a glazed pavilion space, while the forecourt would be re-landscaped for use as an outdoor area.


How St Ives Guildhall could look

How St Ives Guildhall could look


There would also be improvements to the foyer bar spaces and upgrading of the technical infrastructure and audience seating within the hall.

A sculpture entitled Dual Form by renowned artist Barbara Hepworth was unveiled outside the Guildhall in 1966. As part of the new proposals Dual Form would be reinstated on a new extended plinth to allow it be retained at its current position in the forecourt.

The area of the plaza immediately surrounding the sculpture would  be levelled to create an area to view Dual Form as well as giving the bronze material more protection from damage.

A design statement says: “The Guildhall [will have] greater presence from either end of Street-An-Pol and make the otherwise secluded part of the town a more lively and exciting space which complements The Guildhall and the immediate area as well as St Ives as a whole.”


How St Ives Guildhall could look

How St Ives Guildhall could look


A new ‘external foyer’ would remain as the principal access route to the Guildhall but could also be used as a café/bar area or temporary performance space, which would provide an additional revenue stream.

The extended foyer space to the concert hall is proposed to be refurbished to house a new café / bar area, with supporting kitchen and store facilities. Seating would also be provided around the foyer, as well as a ticket booth, cloakroom and toilets.

A retractable bleacher seating unit, for up to 164 people, is proposed for the stalls level which would be stored against the back wall under the balcony when not in use. To accommodate the bleacher unit, the existing modern bar within the hall would be removed and replaced by a new bar in the foyer. The audience balcony would have another row of seats added.

No dates have been set for when the planning applications below will be determined. They can be viewed by going to the planning portal on Cornwall Council’s website, reference PA23/07441.