Life in St Ives

Funding for Community Research

A new project called ‘Life in St Ives’ is one of only 25 nationally to be awarded a grant by UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) to set up a Community Research Network (CRN). The first phase of work has begun and will continue through to August, led by St Ives Community Land Trust.  

The Network builds on the St Ives Community Charter, launched five years ago, and is the latest chapter in its development. The Community Charter was created through local people coming together to identify local assets that contribute to the well-being of St Ives and the community.  

“The ‘Life in St Ives’ project is designed to understand the lived experience of the local community,” says Morag Robertson, Chair of the St Ives Community Land Trust, “Working with the Community Charter, it will develop a Community Research Network with the intention of charting a practical path towards increased community capacity and look at ways of creating sustainable, long-term social and economic benefits, led by the people of the Parish themselves and their needs.” 

She adds, “Our local and national research partners will help us address some of the most pressing issues facing the long-term sustainability of this town and create benchmarks for future development. We are going to be at the Food and Drink Festival on Porthminster Beach, so please come along and find out more’’ 

LISI’s (Life in St Ives) partners include HACT (the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust) known for their work on social value within the social housing sector, The Co-op, who produce a Community Wellbeing Index covering the UK, Isabel Carlisle, a community engagement specialist instrumental in the original creation of the Community Charter, Dr Charlotte Woodhead, Lecturer in Society & Mental Health, from King’s College London, and Anne McCrossan from Visceral Business, who’s been supporting Cornwall Council on data and digital business design. Dr Woodhead and Anne McCrossan are also residents of St Ives parish. 

Talking about what the project can bring to St Ives, Carbis Bay, Halsetown and Lelant, Anne McCrossan, who’s also a potter at the Gaolyard Studios, commented, ‘In the 20th Century, St Ives led the way in creative innovation. The intention now is to lead the way in social innovation. Local areas need to be in tune with their constituencies as effectively as natively digital, online communities. These communities can grow by using qualitative and quantitative data to create enhanced experiences for people locally.’ 

Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement at UKRI said, ‘This programme demonstrates the enthusiasm for new forms of research and innovation that respond to the priorities of communities across the UK.  These exciting collaborations are paving the way for a more open, diverse and connected research and innovation endeavour and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they can achieve.  

“By recognising, valuing and harnessing the knowledge and expertise of communities we can ensure that research and innovation is something that more people can contribute to and benefit from.” 

For more information and to register to hear more about the project, visit

Life in St Ives