Public invited to have their say on ambitious new plans for a new university campus at the Historic Citadels and surrounding area

Public invited to have their say on ambitious new plans for a new university campus at the Historic Citadels and surrounding area

Local residents, businesses, students and visitors are being given the opportunity to have their say on ambitious new proposals for a new campus for the University of Cumbria at the historic Citadels in Carlisle. Online public consultation takes place between Thursday 14 May and Thursday 4 June 2020.

Whilst the restrictions around non-essential travel and social distancing mean that there can be no traditional face to face consultation sessions, people can instead see the suggested plans and have their say online at www.cumbria.gov.uk/CSGC.

Carlisle Station Gateway and Citadels are a major gateway into the city and are a key part of the history and identity of Carlisle. As part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, £50 million of funding has been allocated for the second phase to bring new purpose to the historic Citadels and adjacent site. Phase one relates to the proposed £15m investment to improve Carlisle Railway Station.

Plans are now progressing to transform the Citadels buildings and the adjacent site to become a new home for the University of Cumbria.

The project is being developed jointly by Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council and the University of Cumbria working with Cumbria LEP as a key partner. Improving the site can, potentially, be transformative to the character and status of Carlisle and also the wider Borderlands area.

Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council said: “Through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, there is an in principle commitment to support the development of a new campus for the University of Cumbria at the historic Citadels.  The proposals are in the early stages of development and we want to gather people’s views and ideas to help us shape plans as they progress. Whilst I appreciate the timing around doing any public consultation isn’t ideal given the current Covid-19 pandemic, we need to ensure we progress the development of a business case in order to secure the funding for this transformational project.  This will help make sure that when the world gets back on its feet, we are well placed to attract businesses and students into Carlisle.

“I’d encourage everyone to take a look at the consultation material online and give us their feedback. This will help us shape our plans, to make sure we design a scheme that fits the needs of potential future users, as well as the objectives for the Citadels, Carlisle and the wider Borderlands area.”

Councillor John Mallinson, Leader of Carlisle City Council, added: “The overall vision of this ambitious project is to bring the iconic Citadel buildings back into use, respecting the heritage whilst creating a modern and vibrant new hub for learning, business and culture that re-shapes the future of Carlisle and the Borderlands region for the benefit of its communities and future generations.

“We need to encourage investment in the city and this scheme is an important step forward. It will boost our economy and will bring the historic Citadel buildings back into use. We welcome views on the plans.”

University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell said: “As an anchor institution for Cumbria, the university’s vision is to raise aspirations and educational attainment and contribute to the social, cultural and economic well-being and prosperity of our communities, developing our region’s talent and capabilities and attract new talent into our region.

“The Citadels project, in partnership with Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council, recognises the significance of the university to the success of the city and vice versa.

“We are excited about the opportunities it presents to us as a university to increase the impact we have on our city, and the wider economy. The Citadels project will be transformational for our cross-border region, our city, its communities and individuals.”

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle added: “This project is hugely significant and has the potential to truly transform an important part of the City. I very much hope people will get involved with the consultation and in time get behind the project. This is a further demonstration of the ambition of the city.”

Carlisle, as the only city in the Borderlands region, has ambitious plans for growth. The future economic success of the city and wider region is dependent on population growth and reversing the decline in the working age population.

Revitalisation of the city centre to be a vibrant and accessible place where people will choose to live and work therefore is key to this future success.

The redevelopment of the Citadels site presents one of the most important investment opportunities in Borderlands. The site has considerable untapped potential with iconic Citadels structures and proximity to Carlisle Station giving excellent profile as the key gateway to the city centre.

Building on these attributes, with the support of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal there is now an opportunity to deliver a new university campus on this site. Proposals for which are undergoing development and are subject to this consultation.

Find out more at www.cumbria.gov.uk/CSGC