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Whatever the new ‘normal’ is there’s never been a more poignant and exciting time for arts and culture. Like very thirsty people we’ve all been dreaming of slaking our creative thirst. There’s real positive energy just bursting to get out. Be part of these exciting times, there are already many ways to get involved (some listed below) but there’s always room for new ideas.

So sharpen those pens, dust off the brushes, or have a gargle and get your voice ready. Here’s to it. Scroll down for more information or use our interactive map and lists of exciting museums and monuments.

Central Plaza update
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Central Plaza update

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Carlisle City Council has revealed that there has been ‘interest’ in the potential redevelopment of the former Central Plaza hotel.

The council invited developers to come forward with ‘expressions of interest’ last autumn.

They sought developers with the necessary skills and experience to deliver the ‘challenging and unique opportunity’. A development brief, drawn together by the council, said: “The Central Plaza is a Grade II listed former hotel located within the heart of Carlisle city centre. The prominent 0.2-acre site offers an exciting opportunity to breathe new life into the building or to create a new addition to the city centre.”

The hotel closed in 2004 and has remained vacant since. Several failed attempts to redevelop the property have left the building in poor condition. As the building is ownerless (it is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate) emergency work to improve structural safety were recently undertaken by Carlisle City Council under the Building Act 1984. 

Carlisle City Council spokesperson said:

“Late last year, we provided the opportunity for developers to come forward with ‘expressions of interest’ for the potential redevelopment of the former Central Plaza hotel.

“The closing date has now ended and we are assessing the interest submitted during this process.”

Carlisle City Council is not the owner of the building and, whilst supportive of moving development forward, has only statutory rather than legal duties in respect of the building. As part of the process, the City Council will consider:

  • Assistance in acquiring the site;
  • Coordinating stakeholder interest and engagement;
  • Identifying and assisting in accessing funding; and
  • Advising on planning and heritage matters within the wider city centre regeneration context.

The closing date of receipt of initial expressions of interest was Monday 31 December 2018. Interested parties were asked to include:

  • Proposed team;
  • Relevant experience;
  • Concept proposals for the site; and
  • Indicative programme.

More information is available at www.carlisle.gov.uk/centralplaza

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Useful Information and links

A Strategic Framework for Culture in Carlisle was initiated in 2019 by a small steering group of Carlisle City Council, Prism Arts, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery Trust and the University of Cumbria.  The consultation was designed to not only engage existing cultural specialists but to encourage a diverse range of voices representing diversity, business, education, health, individual and freelance artists and creative practitioners to contribute to shaping the future arts and cultural agenda.

Discover Carlisle has lots of ideas for things to see and do in and around England’s biggest city

"A virtual hub for all things multicultural in Cumbria. Sharing our similarities and celebrating our differences"

    Cumbria Arts & Culture Network 

      Prism Arts

   Eden Arts

   Carlisle Contemporary Arts 

Monuments

There are a number of historical monument in and around Carlisle.  Please see the downloadable Monuments and Memorial Guide below.

Public art

Professional street art is growing in the city as show cased in this Cumbria Guide article.  

  

Landmark Street Art

Venues


The Source Collective  

Theatre and Drama

 

  Rocket Theatre 

Dance