Kendal maps out town centre refresh   

A regeneration strategy for the Cumbrian town earmarks 11 areas for redevelopment, including the Station Gateway, Blackhall Road and Gooseholme Park, to help secure its long-term future.

The plan, produced by South Lakeland District Council and economic development body Kendal Futures, aims to stimulate up to £1bn of investment in Kendal over the next decade.

The 11 “character areas” of the town centre earmarked for regeneration are:

  • Market Town Civic Approach, north of the town centre
  • The Station Gateway, around the train station
  • Local Industrial, north of the Station Gateway,
  • New Road and Western Riverside
  • Market Town Core
  • Highgate, Kirkland and Historic Yards
  • Gooseholme Park
  • Blackhall Road and Canal Head
  • Infill Waterside Development
  • Fletcher Park and Lound Road
  • Abbot Hall

Within these, five tightly drawn “opportunity areas” are identified – Hallgarth Estate; the railway station and surrounds; Westmorland Square and the Town Centre; Canal Head; and the Brewery Arts Centre, Highgate, The Yards, Waterside, Abbot Hall and Park.

The Station Gateway, Blackhall Road and Canal Head are earmarked for practical interventions by the council to help kickstart delivery of the strategy.

Meanwhile, the plan also sets out a package of overarching, including to drive economic focus and growth, develop new transport networks and supporting infrastructure, and promote natural assets and civic gems.

At the same time, Kendal Futures has published its own economic development strategy for the town, following a public consultation weekend when local people were asked to discuss the town’s problems and propose solutions.

Emerging ideas include “greening” the retail heart of the town and creating better linkage and views to the river, improving public realm, providing new town centre live and work opportunities, and improving key gateways into the town

Cllr Robin Ashcroft, South Lakeland District Council’s portfolio holder for economy, culture and leisure, said: “The launch of the Kendal Town Centre Strategy and Kendal Futures’ Vision is an important milestone on the journey towards significant positive development in Kendal.

“[The two documents] will be key tools used to inform council plans and policies to influence development positively and highlight, promote and influence how specific sites of importance develop in the future.

“Enshrining our aspirations like this will also help secure investment and show that a holistic approach is being followed.”

The documents will help inform South Lakeland’s next Local Plan, for the period to 2040, which was discussed at Place North West’s Cumbria Development Update in Kendal last week, and on which early-stage public engagement begins this month.

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