Carlisle Citadels Regen Sketch, Carlisle City Council, P Carlisle City Council
Sketch of the plans for the Citadels in Carlisle. Credit: via Carlisle City Council

Work starts on £77.5m Citadel regen scheme in Carlisle

Julia Hatmaker

First step: demolishing the 13,000 sq ft Paton House buildings towards the rear of the site, a job that is currently being undertaken by Maryport-based contractor Thomas Armstrong.

Located at 9 Victoria Viaduct, the Art Deco Paton House buildings were originally a car showroom and had most recently been used as a mixture of retail, office and leisure spaces. The demolition of the structures will make way for the transformation of the medieval Citadels into a new home for the University of Cumbria.

The University of Cumbria, Cumbria Council and Carlisle City Council are all working together on the project, along with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and One Public Estate.

This initial works stage is funded in part by £1.8m from the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership. Another £50m from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal has been allocated for the entire Citadels transformation project.

Demolition begins this week and ends autumn 2021. During that time, work will take place on weekdays between 8 am and 5 pm. Throughout the demolition process, access to Bush Brow will be closed from Victoria Viaduct and Borough Street when required. Pedestrians and vehicular access across Victoria Viaduct will not be impacted.

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A very great shame to see the intended demolition of the sandstone Woolworths building.

Some of Carlisle’s heritage assets have been lost to misfortune and changing market conditions.

Wilfully replacing substantial, adaptable city centre landmarks with what are likely to be value-engineered institutional glass boxes is another matter and likely to be a source of regret in the future.

By Sten