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Plans for £19.7m Carlisle Town Deal plan revealed

Published on 18 June 2021

Plans for £19.7m Carlisle Town Deal plan revealed

Carlisle projects that will benefit from £19.7 million government funding, as part of the city’s Town Deal Investment Plan, have been revealed.

Carlisle submitted the Investment Plan to government in October 2020 and received a Heads of Terms offer for £19.7 million of investment for the city in March 2021.

This offer has now been agreed by the Town Deal Board, and will fund the following projects:

  • Start with the Park, St Cuthbert's Garden Village: Providing new and improved walking and cycling routes connecting the key settlements 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. 
  • Citadels Business Infrastructure: 888Msq 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 £19.7 million funding sits within a wider package of over £250 million of investment in and around Carlisle. This is great news for the city and will help us grow and support our businesses and communities coming out of the coronavirus pandemic. 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 have enjoyed chairing the Town Deal Board and am looking forward to getting on with the next stage of developing some of these exciting projects. Carlisle has a lot to offer and we hope these projects will drive forward positive change.”

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

“These are exciting times 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:

“I’m delighted with the range of very worthwhile projects that are due to be delivered as part of the Town Deal, and it has 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 MHCLG 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.”

Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) and a member of the Carlisle Town Deal Board, said:

“I am really pleased that the Board has agreed its investments in these priority projects, which will drive forward the ambition within the Town Deal Investment Plan.

“It’s an impressive package of projects that will be of significant benefit, not just to Carlisle and its people but to the whole county and the wider sub-region.”

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

The £19.7 million funding sits within a wider package of over £250 million of investment in and around Carlisle, which also includes £9.1 million from the Future High Street Fund to support the regeneration of the city centre, £70 million through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal for the Carlisle Station Gateway and Citadels Projects, and additional funding for The Sands Centre, Tullie House, Bitts Park and the redevelopment of Caldew Riverside as well as the £144 million Carlisle Southern Link Road.

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.

See the 101 places being supported to develop Town Deals.

Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19. View a list of accelerated funding by place (PDF, 266 KB, 11 pages

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