Cumbria County Council and its partners have kicked off the search for a design team for the redevelopment of Carlisle’s railway station and The Citadels, with options including enhanced retail space, improved access, and higher education uses.
The proposals will see major improvements to the station including an overhaul of the arrivals areas of Court Square and the railway station’s southern entrance.
The brief has divided the station into four sections. Court Square, one of the key gateways to the station, is described as having “problems with congestion” with a “poor-quality and cluttered environment”; here, suggestions include the potential for retail outlets to create a “city square” as well as improved access.
At the station’s entry and interior, arrival is described as “underwhelming” with “not enough space in the entrance area” for passengers to queue or collect tickets. Like at Court Square, better retail provision is suggested, potentially in archways under the station.
South of the station, there is a lack of car parking provision and again a “poor-quality environment”. Here, an entirely new entrance is suggested, along with improving parking provision on the former Pools site, as well as better access to the station via James Street.
The fourth area includes junction improvements around the station, including better pedestrian and cycle routes between the city centre and the station.
A second phase will focus on The Citadels to create a “focal point” for higher education, business, and cultural uses; redevelopment options here are currently being explored.
A public consultation is running on the proposals until October, but the project’s partners – Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, the University of Cumbria, and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership – has fired the starting gun on finding an architect to develop a more in-depth proposal.
The architect will be required to develop scheme designs and an outline business case for the station gateway and a second phase at The Citadels.
If an outline business case is successful, the consultant may be asked to develop designs through to RIBA Stage Two and work with a design-and-build contractor, or design the development through to RIBA Stage Three, as well as submitting a planning application.
The redevelopment of the station and The Citadels is supported by the £394.5m Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, secured this summer.