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Town of the week: 8th February 2012: St Ives, Cambs

By • Feb 8th, 2012 • Category: Uncategorized

This week’s AMT Town of the Week, St. Ives, is a wonderful riverside town, tourist centre and thriving residential community, located on the banks of the river Great Ouse.  The town’s record breaking Guided Busway provides a trouble free, easy access route to and from Cambridge with buses running on a regular basis – and puts the town in a unique position of being classed as a railway station without having a railway track!

The town has been a place of importance through the centuries with its Easter fair one of the busiest in England drawing crowds from all over Europe during the 1100s.  Indeed it was its markets and fairs that led to the founding of the town.  In the 17th Century it was the home of Oliver Cromwell.

Its shopping centre has a good mix of independent traders and multinationals.  The original character is retained with regular markets held every Monday and Friday with Bank Holiday markets being very popular.  On the first and third Saturdays of each month an excellent Farmer’s Market takes place.

In June 2009 the town centre partnership (the St Ives Town Initiative) launched its award winning independent town loyalty card the SITI Card, which helps local businesses to increase their revenue and rewards customers for shopping locally. The scheme has proven a great success and is a previous winner of an Action for Market Towns Award.

A focal point is the splendid 15th Century Bridge and chapel over the river and is one of only three such surviving bridges in England.  The Norris Museum houses a collection of books, manuscripts and objects relating to the history of Huntingdonshire bequeathed to the town by Herbert Norris on his death in 1931.

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is Jamie is Towns Alive's Communications and External Affairs Manager and works for Towns Alive for 1 day per week looking after press, external affairs, website content, social media, marketing, some events and some membership support. A freelance consultant to charities, social enterprises and small businesses, Jamie co-founded and was managing director of the respected 'New Start magazine' (now owned by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies) and has worked in a PLC. Jamie lives in Sheffield, is an active rock climber and mountain biker, and is a volunteer board member for a local social enterprise.
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