Consultation on plans for new £77.5m university campus

Consultation on plans for new £77.5m university campus name

Today (Wednesday 1 December) the University of Cumbria launches a public consultation on its visionary plans for a new campus in the centre of Carlisle.

It follows recent confirmation that £50 million of funding towards the overall cost of the £77.5m project is being provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

Transforming the character and status of Carlisle, a new campus will boost the city’s vibrancy and vitality bringing increased investment, activity and footfall. It will also improve skills and productivity in the local economy and Borderlands region.

The consultation opens today (Wednesday 1 December) and runs until Sunday 19 December (inclusive).

Those behind the scheme welcome feedback from local residents, businesses and other key stakeholders, helping them to shape the design ahead of a planning application being submitted.

A public exhibition displaying plans for the proposed new Citadels campus is at The Assembly Rooms, upstairs in the Old Town Hall (Carlisle Tourist Information Centre):

  • Today, Wednesday 1 December, between 12-7pm
  • Saturday 4 December, 10am-5pm.

Representatives from the University of Cumbria, DAY Architectural, and planning consultancy DPP will be on hand to answer any queries.

The public consultation is online until Sunday 19 December at, where plans can be viewed and comments and feedback are welcomed.

The 1.65-hectare site is a key gateway into the centre of Carlisle, situated beside the railway station.

Important heritage assets will be retained, including the two landmark Grade I-listed structures known as the Citadels. The majority of the Woolworths building will also be retained and refurbished, with a small proportion to be demolished that is not suitable to re-use.

The site is split into two separate areas divided by English Street, in which the ‘Offices and former Nisi Prius Court Buildings’ are located to the east, and the former Crown Court Buildings; Cumbria County Council offices; and properties of English Street and Paton House are located to the west.

Enhancing Carlisle as a university city, the Citadels project is at the heart of the wider transformation of the city centre that is taking place over the next five years, ensuring Carlisle reaches its full potential as the hub of the Borderlands area.

It is a key component in the shared Vision for Carlisle in 2030 ‘to develop a thriving centre for business, residents, education and culture’.

Plans for the Citadels campus include the creation of publicly accessible amenity space and new facilities such as a multi-purpose 200-seater lecture theatre, café, exhibition space and a Business Interaction Centre as well as access to the Grade I-listed buildings. The university intends to open up both heritage assets and new university facilities to the public in a managed way.

Professor Julie Mennell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria, said: “The University of Cumbria is of and for Cumbria, and was established to make higher education more accessible for those within the region and attract new people to the area.

“The new campus will help to raise the profile, vibrancy and economic wellbeing of the city and region. We want it to be inclusive, inviting and inspiring, providing accessible, digitally-enabled and state of the art learning, as well as working with local employers in order to upskill and reskill employees and develop the workforce of the future. It will also be a central hub for engagement across strategic partnerships with employers, education providers and key stakeholders within the region and beyond.”

The new campus project has been developed by the University of Cumbria in partnership with Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, and Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.