The Old Vicarage Flats

Old Vicarage Flats new roof September 2020

The First Community-Owned Housing Venture in St Ives

“Truly affordable living is vital, particularly with regard to homeownership and/or rental.
Houses in St Ives area should be seen first and foremost as homes rather than investments.”

Extract from St Ives Community Charter 2017. 

Creating affordable homes was the key priority for the community of St Ives as evidenced through the series of public consultation exercises undertaken around the Neighbourhood Plan process during 2014.

The Old Vicarage Flats will be the first community-led housing project allowing local people to play a leading and lasting role in addressing the housing problems in St Ives.  

This will create genuinely affordable homes in ways that are difficult to achieve through mainstream housing.

We believe bringing buildings into community ownership is the best way to meet local housing needs.

There is a pressing social need for affordable housing in St Ives.  Purchasing properties for holiday lets has inevitably pushed house prices above the national average, in a place where wages are well below the national average.  This squeezes the housing market for long term residents and local workers.  For a tourist economy to work, all residents must have fair access to good quality accommodation. 

The people of St Ives have a real sense of place and belonging – grounded in a deep connection to the landscape and its past communities. Today, people from families with an unbroken line of living in the town for many generations, now face being the ones to break that bond by having to move to somewhere cheaper to live.

The neighbourhood plan consultations uncovered many stories of the people who live and work here –

·      local families unable to find affordable, suitable homes;
·      adult children living with parents despite having good jobs;
·      employees having to travel long distances to work;
·      rental properties only available out of season or for short lets, and local people eventually giving up and moving away.


The Plan’s housing objective is

“to support the provision of affordable and principal residence housing so that the St Ives area continues to be a place where people of all ages can live and work”.

The Old Vicarage Flats development presents the first opportunity for us as a community to really begin to deliver on our housing objectives.

Bringing buildings into or back into community ownership presents an exciting but culturally sensitive way of delivering local housing needs.

It is fulfilling the neighbourhood plan, produced and supported by so many local people.

Help us now by donating 

You can help us now by donating here on this page. There is no minimum donation. Every £1 you donate will help to secure these flats for future generations.  We have donation boxes at outlets throughout the town too. 

Why not invest in our project?

Although our withdrawable share option through Ethex closed in October 2019. You are still able to invest in our project to provide six affordable homes for rent in the town centre by buying community shares but they are not part of the Registry Block.  Please be aware that this is high risk and long term investment. Although you can request your investment to be returned this is at the discretion of the Board and can be restricted if there Is a risk to the CLT. 

You can download the Share Offer Information Pack by clicking on the link.

Our withdrawable share offer:

The main focus of our share offer is to raise finance for our first major project, the purchase and the renovation of the Old Vicarage Flats.  The flats will be remodelled and renovated to a good standard of environmental sustainability, in keeping with the age and existing structural demands of the building.
Our minimum fundraising target for the share offer is £170,000.  Our maximum fundraising target for this share offer was £500,000. The share value is £1 per share.
The minimum investment amount for investors living within the TR26 postcode area is £100 and for all other investors is £350.
The projected interest rate is 4%.

The maximum that any individual can invest is £50,000 which is equivalent to 10% of the offer. Organisations may invest above this limit to a maximum holding of £100,000 – please contact us for further information.

This offer is for shares in the withdrawable share capital of St Ives CLT.  It is being offered subject to the following conditions:

  • the only way of an investor getting his/her money back is by selling shares back to the society, they cannot be sold to another person,
  • that six months notice has to be given to the Board of the intention to withdraw share capital, that Board members may have the right to refuse requests for withdrawal if such a withdrawal would cause
  • financial hardship to St Ives CLT and its projects,
  • shares may not be withdrawn until three years after the close of the offer period
  • shares will not increase in value.

As with any share investment, please note that your capital is at risk if you invest in this share offer. If you invest, you may lose some or all of the money that you invest.

As a community benefit society, St Ives Community Land Trust Ltd is registered with, but not authorised or regulated by, the Financial Conduct Authority and therefore any money you may pay for shares is not safeguarded by any depositor protection or dispute resolution scheme. In particular, you have no right of complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, nor any access or entitlement to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Still interested? Contact Jill through the contact us page. 

This is the timeline once we have received your initial interest:

  • Response from Jill or Ethex
  • Investment application form filled in
  • Accepted by Board 
  • Details to Ethex to manage communications
  • Details to Registry to get a legal record of investment
  • The investor becomes a member of CLT and joins the mailing list 

Our objective

We have bought the Old Vicarage Flats and have planning permission pending with Cornwall Council to allow us to convert the building into 6 flats. These flats are in the centre of the town and will provide six vital, permanently affordable homes for key workers and other local people, secured under an asset lock for future generations.

We aim to provide:

  • 2 x 1-bedroom flats at the affordable rent of £96 per week
  • 4 x 2-bedroom flats at the affordable rent of £160 per week

Our tenants will enjoy lower energy bills and we will have contributed to wider environmental improvement. The flats will be available for rental as affordable housing and protected for the benefit of the community through asset-lock protection in our Rules (available on request). 

St Ives Town Deal logo

St Ives Town Deal

We presented to the Town Deal Board and here are a few slides to provide an update for you. 

Town Deal Board presentation (PDF, 3MB) 

For more information on St Ives Town Deal, please click on the link.

Artist impression of flat 6 view - Lucy Middleton Art

Our YouTube Channel videos on the Old Vicarage Flats Project