In the spring of 2014, Judy Davidson, Former Town Council Mayor, gathered together a group of committed and successful local business people, to consider forming a CIC and develop a plan to further shape the town centre of Redruth with a 21st century feel. Judy’s mission statement to the other members was clear:
The purpose of the CIC is to work in tandem with the developments at the old brewery site and breathe new life into the heart of Redruth.
The newly formed interest group viewed the Old Brewery project as the catalyst needed to bring new footfall into Redruth, and to encourage further investment into the town. In other words, the time was right.
Supported by Charlotte Caldwell, Cornwall Council’s Community Network Manager for Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth, the group met, enthusiastically, to explore options. It was clear to all that major retail is no longer the function of the town centres. The out of town shopping sites are here to stay and all readily acknowledged that no town centre can compete with the space, parking and co-locational opportunities that these offer the public. The CIC interest group felt that Redruth needs a unique in-town commercial centre, characterful, vibrant, elegant and exciting. A place where successful upwardly mobile people want to be.
Serendipity intervened. The ‘now official’ Redruth Revival CIC, received a helping hand when the Mining Exchange and Buttermarket site became available for purchase at exactly the right time.
The ancient Buttermarket site fulfilled all the criteria that the Redruth Revival C.I.C. was formed to address. It is architecturally exciting, large, has a wide range of small and large sized meeting spaces and a magnificent central courtyard with its jettied upper storey resting on ancient granite pillars which offers incredible flexibility for all manner of activities from outdoor relaxation space to the hosting of travelling theatre companies.
The main entrance to the site reflects Redruth’s mining heritage; with its fine dressed granite this is a fine example of high Victorian architecture.
The Buttermarket ‘ticks all the boxes’. It will become a focus for community use and will include an innovation business centre to offer vibrant communal office space to new and existing businesses, with a particular eye on young entrepreneurs leaving College or University. Here they can rent affordable space to grow their businesses. The Buttermarket will undoubtedly become a showcase for some of the vibrant artistic community based at Krowji –on the western edge of the town, and who need a shop window in the centre of town; we visualise a small element of retail, particularly specialist shops. These emerging entrepreneurs will need somewhere to buy specialist deli foods, gifts, cards, all the ‘dash out and grab at lunchtime’ items, and, it is likely that stationery, office supplies and IT could follow. This unique site, and it is truly unique, is the last major site available for a project like this. It is located 10 metres from a sizable and affordable public car park, 2 minutes walk from the railway station and even less from the town’s primary bus stop. We have the enthusiasm and the vision, we have the premises, and with Cornwall Council’s support of our funding bid, we can make that vision a reality.