Planning permission for University of Cumbria’s flagship Carlisle Citadels campus project has been approved.
The decision, announced on Friday August 5, was made by Carlisle City Council’s Development Control committee.
Designed by DAY Architectural Ltd., the plans include the retention of the two Grade I listed Citadel rotundas on the site along with other historic and heritage features, including the Woolworth and Burton’s buildings.
The site is split into two separate areas divided by English Street, in which the ‘Offices and former Nisi Prius Court Buildings’ are located to the east, and the former Crown Court Buildings; Cumbria County Council offices; and properties of English Street and Paton House are located to the west.
University of Cumbria’s strategic lead on the project, 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.
“Now that the plans have been approved, led by the main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine, site preparation work will begin later this year, including archaeological investigations and other construction related survey work, with the main construction work beginning in the first half of 2023, and completion forecasted for spring 2026.”
Accessible, inclusive, and inspirational, the approved plans include the creation of publicly accessible amenity spaces and new facilities such as a multi-purpose 200-seater lecture theatre, café, exhibition space and the Carlisle Business Exchange centre.
University of Cumbria, Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell said: “We are delighted that our planning application has been successful and we can now realise our ambition to develop a new university campus in the heart of the city.
“A truly transformational project, 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 Carlisle Citadels campus project has been developed by the University of Cumbria, Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, and Cumbria LEP as a key partner.
£50 million of funding for the project is being provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal with and additional £4million from the Carlisle Town Deal Fund and the university expected to help meet the £77.5 million total cost.