Carlisle board agrees on action plan for city redevelopment

Michael Hunt

The Carlisle Renaissance board has agreed on its first Action Plan, following a meeting held yesterday.

The Action Plan outlines the board's priorities and the delivery of them, including key activities for the year ahead.

The plan is now being considered for approval by Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council and the North West Development Agency.

Bryan Gray, chairman of the board, said: "This is an exciting and challenging time for Carlisle. As we navigate a period of economic uncertainty it is now more important than ever that we focus on priorities, transformational actions that can deliver lasting benefits for residents and businesses alike."

Programme director, Ian McNichol, adds: "At the moment our main focus is on the new University of Cumbria facilities at Caldew Riverside, planned to open in 2012. This may seem like a long way off but this will be one of the largest and possibly the most complex development projects in the city centre since the Lanes Shopping Centre was built."

McNichol said work to improve Castle Street will also begin in January next year.

At its last meeting, the board agreed the need for businesses to play a leading role in deciding what needed to be done to improve the competitiveness of Carlisle city centre.

A business led group is now being set up by the City Council to make recommendations on future city centre management.

This, Gray added, will help to determine how public investment should to be targeted for example into marketing, maintenance and the public realm.

Outside the city centre, Gray also commented that the focus is also on the M6 motorway corridor and how it can be developed over the long-term.

Gray concluded it would help in the delivery of new sites for businesses, particularly those in sectors with recognised growth potential.

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