Cumberland Council is embarking on an exciting venture to regenerate Market Square and Greenmarket, creating a welcoming and lively space for residents, businesses, and visitors.
Currently dominated by cars, the area can look unwelcoming, but with the vision to enhance its potential, the council aims to transform it into a vibrant focal point that encourages community gatherings and increases footfall.
As part of the project, the war memorial will be relocated. The council has engaged in consultations with the British Legion and has reached an agreement to relocate the memorial and its benches to a more prominent space in the market square.
In collaboration with nearby regeneration projects on Devonshire Street and English Street, Carlisle Station, and the University of Cumbria's new Citadels Campus, over £100 million of public funding is being invested in Carlisle city centre. This significant investment seeks to maximise the area's possibilities and attract more people to the heart of the city.
Market Square and Greenmarket will receive a substantial investment of £4 million from the Future High Street Fund, dedicated to improving the 6000-square-metre area. The objective is to optimise the space, making it an attractive destination for both residents and visitors alike. This transformation will pave the way for a unique multifunctional events space, set to host various exciting activities and gatherings.
This week (w/c 5 February), the project kicked off with ground investigation work conducted by the contractor, Eric Wright Civil Engineering Limited. In the upcoming phase, some trees will be removed before the bird nesting season. Two of these trees are affected by Ash Dieback and require removal for safety reasons. Additionally, two trees situated within the planning area need to be taken down. The council has emphasised its commitment to plant new trees and shrubs in and around the Greenmarket and Market Square space.
Cumberland Council has clarified that not every tree bearing orange paint will undergo removal. Regrettably, all trees in the vicinity were unintentionally marked with spray paint during the survey works.
The council will conduct a comprehensive review of all trees in the city centre due to ash dieback, prioritising safety. Appropriate action will be taken for individual trees as deemed necessary.
Leader of Cumberland Council, Cllr Mark Fryer, said:
“The investment in Carlisle city centre is testament to Cumberland Council’s commitment to the city's growth and development. The Market Square and Greenmarket project will allow residents and visitors to look forward to an energetic and inviting space.
“Presently, the area poses challenges with numerous cars congesting the space, resulting in potential hazards, it can feel like a real-life dodgem track!
“Recognising the need for change, we envisage a revitalised space that caters to the needs and aspirations of all Cumberland residents, businesses, and visitors who frequent the city centre. By prioritising easy and safe access to the area, we are dedicated to promoting positive outcomes for the health and well-being of our entire community, while attracting more footfall and boosting economic activity.”