McAlpine picked for £77.5m Carlisle Citadels job 

The University of Cumbria has picked the contractor to build a 150,000 sq ft campus aimed at regenerating the area around the city’s grade one-listed Citadel rotundas. 

A planning application for the £77.5m scheme is expected this spring. Sir Robert McAlpine will aim to start on site next year, with a view to completing the project in 2026. 

The contractor’s bid for the job focussed “as much on the social benefits of the new campus, such as jobs and training opportunities, as its construction”, according to the university. 

University of Cumbria vice-chancellor Julie Mennell said: “The Citadels project is going to be truly transformational for place and people, increasing the accessibility, reach and impact of our academic offer and bringing more activity, footfall and investment into our city.” 

The creation of a new campus will see the University of Cumbria relocate from its two existing Carlisle complexes on Brampton Road and Fusehill Street into a single city centre location.  

The Citadels campus will feature a 200-seat lecture theatre, café, exhibition space and a business hub. The Citadels rotundas, a former medieval fortress on English Street built in 1541, will be retained and opened to the public. 

The scheme is funded by a £50m grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, awarded through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. 

An additional £4m from the Carlisle Town Deal Fund will also go towards the project, with the university expected to provide the rest. 

Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, and Cumbria LEP are all key partners in the scheme. 

Day Architectural is leading on design and DPP is the planning consultant. 

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