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Wednesday , March , 22 2023
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Welcome to Art's and Culture

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.

£16.6 million Town Deal funding for Carlisle
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£16.6 million Town Deal funding for Carlisle

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Six Carlisle projects are set to benefit from £16.6 million funding after their final business plans were signed off by Government.

The series of multi-million-pound plans to regenerate Carlisle were submitted for approval in the Spring.

They form part of the city’s Town Deal Investment Plan.

In March 2021 Carlisle received a Heads of Terms agreement of £19.7 million from the government for its Town Deal, following submission of the Town Investment Plan in October 2020. In May 2021 the Town Deal Board agreed a £19.7 million programme based on seven projects, which was confirmed in July 2021.

Six of the seven business plans have been agreed. The Carlisle Market Hall business plan will be submitted to government later this year.

The Town Deal projects are:

  • Start with the Park, St Cuthbert's Garden Village: Providing a new central park including food growing opportunities, habitat creation and new and improved walking and cycling routes connecting the key Durdar settlement of the Garden Village with Carlisle City Centre.
  • Southern Gateway: An integrated programme of investments in active and sustainable travel and public realm to better connect key developments in the Southern Gateway area of Carlisle, including the Railway Station, Citadels, Devonshire Street and the former Central Plaza site, and to connect St Cuthbert's Garden Village with the City Centre.
  • Project Tullie: Welcome & Entrance to Tullie House Museum: part of a wider programme of investment at Tullie House Museum, this project will better connect the Museum to the surrounding streetscape, increasing its visibility by providing a clear and contemporary point of arrival for visitors. 
  • Lighting Up Carlisle: Investment of capital funding in digital lighting equipment to support an expanded and transformed events programme. 
  • Digital and Community Learning Hub: Refurbishment of the City Centre Library to create an accessible digital skills and community learning hub, and installation of digital equipment and training materials in 13 community venues. 
  • The Carlisle Business Exchange Centre (CBE): 800Msq of hyper fast digitally enabled business interaction and accommodation space, linked to the University of Cumbria's flagship campus development. 
  • Carlisle Market Hall: Investment to improve the infrastructure and internal structure in the Market Hall to improve the experience for shoppers and visitors and exploring options to create a food court and events space. 

Councillor John Mallinson, Leader of Carlisle City Council said:

“The Government’s endorsement of the Town Deal projects will release more than £16 million of investment in the city. Supporting the economy and delivering transformational schemes. The Town Investment Plan is a blueprint for the next ten years and will drive forward Carlisle in the future.”

Emma Porter of Story Contracting and Chair of Carlisle’s Town Deal Board added:

“I’d like to thank all the partners that make up the Town Deal Board for their continued support. All their hard work has resulted in a multi-million-pound investment in the city. Each one of the projects will create investment and will create a lasting legacy for the city.”

University of Cumbria’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell also welcomed the news and said:

“I am delighted to hear that the Carlisle Town Deal funding has been approved. This is a really exciting time for our city and region, with each of these projects delivering significant benefit in their own right. The development of a city centre university campus has the potential to transform the character and status of Carlisle and the wider Borderlands area. However, it is the strategic and collaborative approach taken by all involved which will ensure we deliver tremendous and long-lasting impact for our city, businesses and communities.”

Cumbria County Councillor Cyril Weber, who represents Cumbria County Council on the Town Deal Board said:

“It’s been a pleasure working with all of the organisations involved. The county council will be responsible for delivering many of these important projects which will each provide essential support for investment to help revitalise Carlisle and surrounding areas and enable future growth.”

Andrew Mackay, Director, Tullie House Museum said:

“Tullie House Museum Trust is very grateful to the Carlisle Town Deal Board and the Government for supporting Project Tullie. This investment will make a significant difference to the city’s principal cultural facility and therefore the visitor offer. The overall portfolio of projects in the Investment Plan provides a very positive statement about Carlisle’s ambition and the planned strategy to create an inspiring ‘Destination City’ for everyone.”

The Investment Plan provides a 10-year strategy for Carlisle’s growth. The Investment Plan is now available at

Carlisle’s Town Deal Board is made up of representatives from key public and private sector organisations in the city, was formed in January 2020 to steer Carlisle’s vision and objectives for the Town Deal.

Towns Fund - Town Deals

On 27 July 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth. See further details of the announcement.

A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision.



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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 


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


The Source Collective  

Theatre and Drama


  Rocket Theatre