The Government has agreed £23.1m worth of funding that will allow the Workington Town Deal projects to progress.
The business plans were agreed earlier this year by Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive, after they were devised by the Workington Town Deal Board.
John Coughlan, Chair of the Workington Town Deal Board, said: “This is really welcomed progress for the town, the people of Workington and indeed the whole region.
“This brings the delivery of the work we have all worked so hard to deliver for the improvement of our town and efforts to deliver many projects to support delivery of lifestyle improvements for all residents, shoppers, and users of the Town.
“We all want Workington to be a lively, lived-in and commercially active Town. This brings all of this one step nearer.”
Now that the government funding has been confirmed, work can start on the five major regeneration projects in the town.
Plans for the town include a new sports village on the Derwent Valley and the current site of Workington Reds ground at Borough Park and creation of a new office block and shared creative working space in the centre of the town.
Also the remediation of the land around the Port of Workington to allow further expansion of this important transport hub, the creation of a new digital skills programme to help employment in the high-tech industries, and the improvement of pedestrian areas at several key locations across the town.
On March 1 2022, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive committee agreed the business cases for five key projects in the town using funding from the government’s Town Deal pot.
This was the first stage in the development of the projects.
Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, Councillor Mike Johnson said: “This is a very exciting time for the Workington area, and this investment meets our commitment in our Council Strategy to invest in our communities and have thriving towns and villages.
“I’m delighted to see that the Town Deal Board have received the funding to bring the plans set out in the Town Investment Plan to life.
“The Board’s plans for Workington will be a game changer for the town and I’m excited to see what opportunities these investments bring.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has got us this far. Now the exciting work can really start.”
The project proposals coming under the Town Investment Plan were put together by the Town Deal Board which has representatives from local government and the Workington business and third sector communities.
Welcoming the latest milestone, Mark Jenkinson MP for Workington said: “This is great news for Workington: we are one step closer to realising this multi-million-pound vision for our town.
“I have been involved in this aspirational project from the time I served as a deputy leader of Allerdale Borough Council – when the initial Town Deal allocations were announced.
“I have worked closely with the council as a sitting member of the Town Deal Board to help shape the winning bid.
“A key plank of my plan is to support our fantastic town centres, which have undoubtedly faced huge challenges.
“This also helps to deliver a commitment I made to two of the town’s sporting clubs – Workington Town and Workington Reds.
“This huge cash injection will not only improve the public realm: it will also support the creation of a Sports Village and a logistics and renewable energy hub.
“It will give a huge boost to grassroots sport, create jobs, and help attract further investment down the line.
“It will breathe new life into Workington, building on the excellent work achieved through £750,000-worth of accelerated funding.
“This has already paid for an improved cycleway, high-quality outdoor gym equipment, and public artwork, as well as an outdoor events and activity area with a big screen recently used to show the platinum jubilee celebrations.
“It has also funded the acquisition and demolition of a dangerous building, the Opera House, freeing up that land for other uses.”
The areas football and rugby league clubs will also benefit from the development of the sporting village.
On hearing the news, Phil Norman, Chairman of Workington Reds Football Club said: “A new stadium and facilities will be an asset to the community and represents a major opportunity, not just for Workington Reds to progress our ambitions to play football at the highest level possible.
“As important, is the opportunity to develop our Juniors, ladies and other community and playing initiatives which can now be fully considered.”
While Chairman of Workington Rugby League Football Club, John Pleasants said: “From a Workington Town RLFC perspective, and to reiterate what our project partners at Workington Reds have said, this is truly great news, and a huge step forward to realising our ambitions of playing our home games in a much-improved facility.
Not only is this important for the whole profile of the club as we continue on our journey to rediscover the Halcyon days of rugby league in Workington, but it will also enable us to provide a much-improved match day experience for our loyal fan base and travelling fans alike.
“We would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in getting the project to this stage and look forward to moving to our potential new home in the not-too-distant future.
“In the meantime, both clubs will endeavour to keep fans fully informed, as the project progresses.”
Having received the funds from the government, the projects will now move into the more detailed design phase before building works can begin.
The council is encouraging local businesses, especially those in the construction business, to drop-in on its ‘Meet the Buyer’ event it is staging on June 30.
The event will allow local businesses to find out more about the upcoming projects for the Workington Town Deal, as well as investments in Maryport and other areas of the borough.
Attendees can also find out the tender process to bid for work. It is a drop-in event, so no booking is required.
Just turn up at the Council’s main office in Workington between 10am and 2pm on Thursday June 30, 2022.