DTZ has been appointed by Carlisle Renaissance and Carlisle City Council to help local people and businesses of the area to benefit from a suitable choice of employment land in the future.
DTZ will carry out a review of Carlisle's employment land sites. The study will cover the whole district with a particular focus on the opportunities presented by the M6 corridor and the role and potential of this location. Walton Goodland, a firm of Carlisle-based surveyors, will bring local knowledge to the team.
The district has employment areas in Kingmoor Park and the city centre, both recognised by the North West Development Agency as regionally significant. New opportunities are also emerging in the city with the proposed expansion of Carlisle Airport, the implementation of the Carlisle Northern Development Route and the University of Cumbria's plans to develop its presence in the city centre.
DTZ will consult with stakeholders during the commission in order to understand local aspirations and ambitions and barriers to economic growth, including talks with local businesses and employers.
DTZ also said the three junctions of the M6 which serve Carlisle represent an "important infrastructure asset to the area". It said the economic potential which these junctions and the land in their vicinity represent "must be harnessed in a way which will maximise the district's economic prospects".
Deborah Murray, associate director at DTZ, said: "This is a critical commission for Carlisle which will have the dual purpose of providing a robust evidence base to underpin planning policy and assisting local partners in maximising the economic potential of the M6 corridor as a strategic location for business and investment. Critically this work must also consider the strategic context to ensure that the future strategy for employment land in Carlisle is consistent with and complementary to other objectives, such as city centre regeneration and initiatives in wider Cumbria.
"Our approach will have a dual focus on regeneration and delivery. We will blend economic aspirations with market realities and translate these to deliverable requirements on the ground. It is this dual focus which will ensure the identification of a balanced, sustainable and deliverable portfolio of employment sites which will serve Carlisle for the next 15 to 20 years."
Chris Pearson, development manager for Carlisle Renaissance, added: "It is vital that the city has a range of employment sites suitable for various uses. These must be in the right locations and developed over a number of years, to fully unlock the benefits of the M6 corridor for local people, businesses, and the economy.
"We've already identified gaps in provision now and over the medium term, and now need to continue working with a range of public and private sector organisations to involve everyone in the planning process.
"Carlisle now needs a detailed analysis of future employment land requirements – especially given our Growth Point status – to inform long-term planning and next steps by partners. As specialists, DTZ will undertake this work."