Residents, businesses, passengers and visitors have been given two weeks to have their say on 'ambitious' new plans for Carlisle Railway Station and its surrounding area.
The plans will be on display at The Lanes Shopping Centre on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 between 9am and 5pm.
200million passengers pass through Carlisle Station each year. This summer one of those passengers was the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
After a previous visit to Carlisle, fifteen years ago, Johnson highlighted the need for improvement, saying: "I found myself trapped in downtown Carlisle on a Friday night just before closing time, and believe me, there are better places to be... I was stunned by the noise, the crowd, the smoke and the astonishing quantities of alcohol that were being necked by the denizens of Carlisle.
It was a coldish night but everywhere there was a pagan semi-nudity. There were queues to buy kebabs and the pavements were Jackson Pollocked with the results of eating a kebab on top of eight pints later."
Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, Network Rail and Cumbria LEP are working together to improve the railway facilities, encourage visitors to return, persuade local, young people to stay in the area and increase investment and improvements in Carlisle.
The new plans aim to:
- Make the station more user friendly and easy to navigate with better parking and drop-off facilities.
- Create a gateway into Carlisle by improving entrances and exits in the station and encouraging visitors.
- Celebrate the stations history by respecting its heritage and architecture.
- Improve commercial opportunities, within the station and the city centre.
- Support passenger growth by improving station facilities.
- Think of greener, safer forms of transport for the future.
It is all part of the Borderlands Growth Deal which could see more than £394m pumped into Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.
Councillor John Mallinson, Leader of Carlisle City Council, said: "The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal will provide transformational change for the city. The Carlisle Station Gateway and Citadels project is one of the first schemes to progress to this stage and could provide opportunities to improve the parking and access points, as well as creating investment opportunities."
John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle, added: "The Borderlands Initiative has proved to be very successful for our region; in terms of investment from Government and demonstrating how neighbouring councils can work in partnership to achieve the support necessary for key projects. Improvements to Carlisle Railway Station and the Citadels area is just one of these projects that the Borderlands Initiative has secured. This project will be of real benefit to Carlisle and I look forward to seeing the final proposals."
People are being encouraged to share their ideas on how Carlisle can benefit from the funding:
People can see the suggested plans and have their say online at www.cumbria.gov.uk/CSGC, or in-person by visiting the Lanes Shopping Centre between 9am and 5pm on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September.