Copeland Council’s proposed £25m regeneration of the Cumbrian town took a step forward today with the submission of a bid to the Government’s Future High Street Fund.
The council seeks £15m from the Government pot to help finance its strategy to redevelop parts of Whitehaven.
Under the proposals, the former Whittles furniture store building on Duke Street would be converted into a technology hub, and a series of covered ‘arcades’ would be built between King Street and Strand Street, to connect the harbour with the town centre.
The retail units within the arcade would contain artisan shops, a food court and other leisure uses.
A series of cycle lanes would also be developed, and a bike hub created on the former Barclays Bank site, which would offer sales, hire, storage and repairs of bikes and e-bikes, a juice bar and guided tours.
The council also plans to build a seafood restaurant on Marlborough Street, and bring together a package of other sites for potential redevelopment into housing.
The plans were unveiled for public consultation last month, with the next stage to be the submission of a funding bid if the plans were welcomed in principal by stakeholders.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “The bold schemes that are proposed tick every box in terms of the Government’s criteria of connectivity and diversification.
“While repurposing unused buildings, we intend to create a more cohesive town that utilises King Street and the harbour as a united space and offers residents, workers and visitors new and high quality experiences in food, digital, culture, health and wellbeing.”
Copeland was among councils selected last July for the final phase of the £1bn Future High Streets Fund.
Neighbouring Allerdale Council is also bidding for funding from the pot, to finance a £14m regeneration of Maryport town centre.