Carlisle's Citadel buildings to be turned into University of Cumbria campus as plans approved

Work relating to the project will begin later this year with it expected to be finished in spring 2026. Credit: University of Cumbria

Plans to turn historic Cumbrian buildings into a new university complex have been approved.

The Grade 1 Citadel buildings in Carlisle will soon be used as educational facilities for the University of Cumbria, after city councillors approved the move.

The multi-million pound plans involve keeping the famous Citadel rotundas along with other heritage features, including the Woolworth and Burton’s buildings.

There will also be a 200-seat lecture theatre and a new entrance, as well as other developments like a cafe.

Work to get the project underway is due to get started later this year. Credit: University of Cumbria

University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell, said: "The new Citadels campus will increase the accessibility, reach and impact of our academic offer, including the proposed joint medical school in partnership with Imperial College London.

"The central location of the state-of-the-art campus will also add vibrancy to the city centre increasing activity, footfall and investment, and support our region’s post-covid recovery."

The site will be split into the two distinct areas. These will be divided by English Street, with the former Nisi Prius Court Buildings located to the east, and the former Crown Court Buildings, County Council offices, and Paton House to the west.

Of the £80 million funding, £50m has come from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal and £4m from the Carlisle Town Deal Fund and the university.

It is hoped the new citadel campus will revitalise the citadel rotundas and historic buildings like Woolworths and Burtons. Credit: University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria’s Chief Operating Officer, David Chesser, said: "Today’s decision to grant planning permission is really exciting for the university and the region as a whole.

"The historic nature of the site does present us with challenges, but we feel its uniqueness gives us the opportunity to bring back to life some incredible heritage assets alongside new digitally enabled flexible teaching and academic facilities."

Work relating to the project will begin later this year with it expected to be finish in spring 2026.

Credit: University of Cumbria

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