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Town Deal Plan submitted

Published on 02 November 2020

Town Deal Plan submitted

A ten-year plan setting out £25million worth of development plans for Carlisle has been submitted to Government.

The Carlisle Town Deal Investment Plan has been drawn together by a group representing key public and private sector organisations in the city. Carlisle’s Town Deal Board has drawn together the blueprint for growth following public consultation on the draft plan.

The city is set to grow and in autumn 2019 Carlisle was announced as one of the 101 places selected to create a Town Deal. This allowed councils to access up to £25 million from the UK government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund. The fund aims to support urban regeneration, skills development and improve connectivity in small cities and towns.

The first stage of agreeing a Town Deal is the creation of a Town Investment Plan, which sets a clear vision for Carlisle’s future. Carlisle’s Investment Plan captures the significant investments already taking place in the city as well as proposing new projects to be funded by the Town Deal.

The Plan sets out the following projects:

  • Start with the Park, St Cuthbert’s Garden Village (SCGV): The ‘Start with the Park’ project will provide the ‘Greenway’, a connective, multi-modal green travel route connecting the key settlements of SCGV with Carlisle City Centre and providing high quality leisure and recreation facilities. The project will position SCGV as a unique and attractive destination for working-age families.
  • 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 £17m programme of improvements 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: 1,000m2 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 foodcourt and events space.
  • The projects set out in the Investment Plan align closely with those being developed through other initiatives, including the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, Future High Street Fund and St Cuthbert’s Garden Village.

Alongside these projects, Carlisle has recently secured an additional £1 million for the city through the government’s Towns Fund. This money will fund:

  • Caldew Riverside - to help remediate the contaminated site, to prepare for a new urban living development on the edge of the city centre- £850,000.
  • Improvements to Bitts Park - £150,000.

Cllr John Mallinson, Leader of Carlisle City Council said:

“I’d like to thank all those involved in drawing together the Carlisle Town Deal Investment Plan. This is a very exciting time for Carlisle, with huge opportunities presented for the city through funding from the Towns Fund, as well as the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, Future High Street Fund and St Cuthbert’s Garden Village. Together these funds provide opportunities for the most significant levels of investment that Carlisle has seen for a very long time. The Investment Plan captures all the projects taking place in the city, and it will help drive Carlisle forward in the future.”

Emma Porter, Story Contracting and Carlisle Town Deal Board Chair added:

“The £25 million Government investment is a small step towards levelling up the investment we see in the north and a great opportunity to unlock some of our potential economically, culturally and environmentally, and support further investment and job prospects in Carlisle. 

“The team on the Towns Fund for Carlisle have created an investment plan for the city which will deliver some transformative projects, bringing long lasting benefits to the whole of Carlisle and making the city an outstanding place to live, work and visit for many years to come.”

For more information about the Carlisle Town Deal Investment Plan visit

  • Carlisle’s Town Deal Board, 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.
  • Carlisle’s Town Deal Board has been asking for local people and businesses to have their say on the vision and objectives for the Investment Plan. A virtual exhibition is available at
  • This is an exciting time for Carlisle, with significant investment opportunities for the city through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, Town Deal and Future High Street Fund, as well as the plans for the development of 10,000 new homes and infrastructure through St Cuthbert’s Garden Village.
  • The Carlisle Station Gateway and Citadels project is funded through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, for improvements to this southern end of the city centre, to create a gateway to Carlisle and the wider Borderlands area here. £15 million has been confirmed for the development of Carlisle Railway Station, alongside £50 million for the Citadels project, which will see the creation of a new university campus on this site.
  • Carlisle City Council has also submitted a business case for up to £25 million from the Future High Street Fund, for Carlisle’s city centre. The objectives for this fund are to support the diversification of high streets - encouraging greater evening activity and renewing Carlisle city centre as a place to live and work. Carlisle’s proposals for the Future High Street Fund bid include: reimagining the Market Square to renew the square and create a greater space for events, repurposing key empty sites for redevelopment such as the Former Hoopers and Central Plaza buildings, and 6-24 Castle Street, pedestrian improvements to Devonshire Street, and investing in lighting up of key sites in Carlisle.
  • Through the Town Deal, Carlisle has opportunities for further investment of up to £25 million from the Stronger Towns Fund. The Town Deal takes a ‘whole town’ approach, meaning that the fund can support interventions across the city and not just the city centre.
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