Support for ambitious plans for a new university campus at the historic Citadels and surrounding area

Support for ambitious plans for a new university campus at the historic Citadels and surrounding area name

Feedback gathered from local residents, businesses, students and visitors shows overwhelming support for the proposals to transform the historic Citadels and surrounding areas in Carlisle into a new campus for the University of Cumbria.

The first round of public consultation took place online between 14 May and 4 June. Due to restrictions around social distancing, it wasn’t possible to hold traditional face to face consultation sessions. However this didn’t put people off from responding as 124 people in total provided their feedback to the survey. 77% of respondents agreed that the objectives for the project are ‘about right’ and across the open questions in the survey, there was overall more support for the university to use the Citadels than objection towards this. The full feedback summary report can be found online at:

A second round of public consultation will be held in the autumn and will provide more detailed plans and designs for what the redeveloped site could potentially look like. Further details and dates will be announced in due course.

The Citadels are a major gateway into the city and are a key part of the history and identity of Carlisle. As part of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, £50 million of funding has been allocated for the second phase the Growth Deal to bring new purpose to The Citadels and adjacent site. Phase one included two stages of public consultation in plans to improve Carlisle Railway Station.

Plans are now in place to transform the Citadels Buildings and the adjacent site to become a new home for the University of Cumbria.

The project is being developed jointly by Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council and the University of Cumbria working with Cumbria LEP as a key partner. Improving the site can, potentially, be transformative to the character and status of Carlisle and also the wider Borderlands area.

Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council said: “Through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, there is an in principle commitment to support the development of a new campus for the University of Cumbria at the Historic Citadels. This is an exciting transformational project and will help to ensure that we continue to attract businesses and students into Carlisle. I’d like that thank everyone who took the time to read the consultation material and provide their feedback so that together we are able to make this scheme the best it can be.”

Councillor John Mallinson, Leader of Carlisle City Council, added: “Thanks to everyone that took time to take part on this initial stage of consultation. It’s received a very positive response and we can progress with confidence to the next stage. The Citadels is a major gateway into the city and the Borderlands’ funding will provide the opportunity to provide new purpose to the site.”

University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell, said: “Carlisle is an ambitious university city with considerable potential to grow further and prosper and our city and region needs more young people and those in the workforce to be equipped with higher-level skills.

“The Carlisle Citadels campus will be a focal point in the city providing a physical base and digital-enabled environment, extending our university’s reach and offer across the Borderlands region.

“As well as full-time provision ranging from health and social care, education, business and industry, science, arts and creativity, the campus will deliver up-skilling and re-skilling programmes and will house our new Centre for Digital Transformation.

“As the top university in the North West and amongst the best in the UK for graduate outcomes we are confident that this investment will support us to have even greater impact on our region’s economy and communities.”

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle added: “This project is one of the most important for our city. It is absolutely vital that we all get behind it as the transformational potential for the city at so many different levels is huge. There is a real sense of Carlisle developing as a regional capital and this project is very much part of that.”

Jim Jackson, Investment Panel Chair at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am very pleased to see the strong public support for the Citadels proposal. Increasing higher level skills across the county is a strategic priority for Cumbria LEP and the development of a new University Campus in Carlisle City Centre will be an important step forward in delivering this ambition.”

Carlisle, as the only city in the Borderlands region, has ambitious plans for growth. The future economic success of the city and wider region is dependent on population growth and reversing the decline in the working age population.

Revitalisation of the city centre to be a vibrant and accessible place where people will choose to live and work therefore is key to this future success.

The redevelopment of the Citadels site presents one of the most important investment opportunities in Borderlands. The site has considerable untapped potential with iconic Citadels structures and adjacency to Carlisle Station giving excellent profile as the key gateway to the city centre.

Building on these attributes, with the support of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal there is now an opportunity to deliver a new university campus on this site. Proposals for which are undergoing development and are subject to this consultation.

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