Who are we?

St Ives Corn Exchange Community Interest Company is a Arts, Community and Entertainment centrepiece within St Ives Cambridgeshire. The facilities include The Charter Hall, Riverport Café Bar, Tony Burgess Room and The Flexi Rooms which are hireable spaces. We are home to the Riverport Café where we are a hub for members of the community and businesses. We are home to Screen St Ives an independent cinema, various community groups and clubs and also serve the Education sector as a base for a tutoring company. We run a flourishing events programme, which allow members of the community to access events, entertainment and cultural experiences that they may not otherwise access. The community is at the heart of what we do, encouraging ‘local people’ to be involved.

Our Vision

Our vision is for a vibrant arts, entertainment and music provision for our community. We are the hub of a creative and cultural community. For a small town such as us, our activities are many and varied. Our aim is to become a flagship arts centre for the Cambridgeshire area. With some of the best facilities and staff in the area we are committed to involving the whole community in what we do. We also aim to ensure that the organisation and the beautiful building is used and valued by the people of St Ives. To maximise the income generated from our three income streams at every opportunity in order for us to feed this back to the community ensuring continued growth.


The Corn Exchange was opened in 1864, built and paid for by local businessmen. Local corn merchants used the building, but it was also used for concerts and meetings. The building was sold to the then St Ives Borough Council in 1947 and passed to the Town Council following Local Government Reorganisation in 1974.

Structural concerns led to the building being closed in 2001 and subsequent years saw a number of schemes for refurbishment being put forward, but none was taken forward.

In 2006, when it appeared likely that the building would be sold off, a campaign group, Action Corn Exchange (ACE), was created by local residents to save the building and retain it for community use. Although a ‘For Sale’ sign did appear briefly on the building, in late 2007 the Town Council decided to restore the building and fund the work.

Renovation work started in late 2009 and the restored building was formally re-opened by the Mayor of St Ives, Councillor David Hodge, on 24 June 2010.

The building is owned by St Ives Town Council and is run by the Corn Exchange Community Interest Company (CIC) with the help of volunteers from ACE – Friends of St Ives Corn Exchange.

Recently the Corn Exchange has had a  new lease of life, with our beautifully decorated Riverport Café Bar and thriving events and music programme. 

ACE – ‘Action Corn Exchange’ – was formed by a group of residents of St Ives who did not want to see the Corn Exchange sold. After fighting to prevent the Corn Exchange from sale and having ensured its reopening, ACE is committed to ensuring the long-term success and viability of this wonderful building and to safeguarding its future for generations to come as the focus of community activity and as an object of civic pride.

ACE, now transformed from an Action Group into the Friends of the Corn Exchange, has undertaken to promote the use, availability and accessibility of the building for the community through the provision and support of volunteer helpers, and by organising community events to enrich the lives of the people in our market town.

The ACE Committee works alongside the Community Interest Company (CIC) which runs the building.

ACE – Friends of St Ives Corn Exchange was registered as a Charity on November 16th, 2010 – Registered Charity No.: 1132728

The Charity is established for the benefit of the residents of St Ives, Cambridgeshire and the neighbouring villages, hereinafter referred to as the ” area of benefit”: to provide or assist in the provision of facilities for the benefit of the inhabitants within the “area of benefit” in the interests of social welfare for recreation and other leisure time occupation of individuals who have need of such facilities for reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disability, financial hardship or social circumstances with the object of improving their conditions of life without distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political, religion or other opinions.

To join ACE please email janicedobson@btinternet.com




ACE of Hearts – Individuals and Families
Single £10 – Couple £15 – Household £20
Life Membership:
Single £100 – Couple £175 – Household £200
ACE of Clubs – Community Groups and Clubs
Level of subscription by arrangement.
ACE of Diamonds – Businesses and Major Supporters – Donation
Platinum £5000 – Gold £2000 – Silver £1000
All ACE of Diamond friends will be recorded (with consent)
on the honour boards in the building.
ACE of Spades – Volunteers.
Commitment only required!