Funding of £50m confirmed for University of Cumbria campus in Carlisle's historic Citadels

The campus is set to be at Carlisle's iconic Citadels site. Credit: ITV Border

A new £50m city centre campus for the University of Cumbria is set to be developed in Carlisle.

The money will be invested in the Citadels site in the centre of the city, including its iconic Grade I-listed towers, which have previously been a crown court and offices for Cumbria County Council.

This money is from a grant of more than £450m provided by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities - through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal - made earlier this year.

The proposes new campus is set to include publicly accessible spaces cultural and commercial uses. In addition it is hoped it will address inequality by creating making higher education and training more accessible.Carlisle City Council, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the county council and the university have all been involved in the project. University vice chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell, said: “We were established to play a central role in increasing higher education participation and addressing the higher-level education and skills needs of Cumbria and the wider region. This continues to be one of our primary strategic aims and has never been so important.

Political leaders were also keen to praise the investment.

Councillor Stewart Young, leader of the county council, said: “I’m delighted that the Borderlands Partnership board have agreed to invest £50m through the Deal. This is an exciting transformational project which will help to raise the profile of Carlisle as a university city so we can develop opportunities, skills and infrastructure to drive regional growth and also attract businesses and younger people to Cumbria.”Councillor John Mallinson, leader of the city council, added:“The overall vision of this ambitious project is to bring the iconic Citadel buildings back into use, respecting the heritage whilst creating a modern and vibrant new hub for learning, business and culture that re-shapes the future of Carlisle and the Borderlands region for the benefit of its communities and future generations.

Neil O'Brien MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Levelling Up , Housing and Communities, also commented.

He said:

People will be asked their views via a public consultation on the plans before the end of this year.

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