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Heritage Trail: 2000 – the Present

The Wesleyan Chapel buildings now serves the community in different ways.

Wesley Chapel – (now) Kidz R Us (St Ives Theatre)

Since establishing their theatre in the chapel Kidz R Us youth theatre group have gone from strength to strength. Through sheer dedication of their founder and trustees theyhave become a highly regarded, multi award-winning youth theatre group, performing throughout Cornwall and the UK with several young actors/actresses going on to perform in the West End and beyond, such as The Voice TV series singing show winner Molly Hocking. It provides a place for local kids – who live in one of the most deprived wards in the UK –to learn all aspects of the theatre trade. Kidz R Us is a well-supported, local community asset. The performances they put on are exceptional with visiting directors and producers coming from far and wide to contribute.

Kids R Us put on four large-scale productions each year, plus a number of fundraising concerts and youth theatre workshops. They’ve become a self-sustaining social enterprise, providing much-needed, accessible entertainment for the residents of and visitors to the St Ives area.

Sir Tim Rice is a patron and Phil Barnett (co-founder and director of Kidz R Us) received a British Empire medal at the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2012. He later became a contestant on the Peoples’ Strictly Come Dancing programme in 2015.

In 2021 St Ives Theatre was awarded £1.5m to redevelop the theatre for the 21st century. Which included a new cafe/bar, extended autorium and refurbishment of the historical building.

Wesley Hall & Wesley Schoolroom – (now) Cohort

In 1998 the St Ives Backpackers became the local budget hostel accommodation provider in St Ives.  After operating for 17 years the St Ives Backpackers was put up for sale and in 2015 was sold to its current owners and after an extensive period of renovation, Cohort was born.

Cohort has gone through its own transformation. Whilst continuing the tradition of providing cheaper accommodation in St Ives, it now has a focus on providing educational trip accommodation as well as providing a great place for families and holiday visitors to stay.  Cohort has won many awards for innovation, accommodation and for its efforts around sustainability and being an environmentally conscious business. 

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