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Agreeing the next steps in Maryport’s regeneration

Luke Stamper

Luke Stamper

Posted on 15 March 2023

Members of Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive have approved an increased budget for two of the biggest regeneration projects in Maryport. 

The Executive had several recommendations to consider for the schemes which aim to revitalise the town’s centre and give people new reasons to visit this historic harbour location. They related to the awarding of contracts for the transformation of the landmark Christ Church building into the new Maryport Maritime Museum, and the restoration and renovation of the former Carlton cinema into an arts, events and performance centre, complete with artists and sound workshops and studios, and an exhibition space.

Rising costs of building materials and construction, plus the highest inflation levels for more than 40 years, means the projects’ budgets – a combination of grants from the Future High Streets Fund, Historic England money and matched funding from the Council – have increased dramatically.

As a result, it was also agreed that the Council will discontinue plans for the Empire Yard project and reallocate the £150,000 funding earmarked for this, alongside £292,698 from the Residential Grants Scheme. The Empire Yard site and vacant units are not under the ownership of Allerdale Borough Council, and it has proved impossible to agree the acquisition of the area with the landowners.

The Executive also approved the release of funding worth £236,059 from the Council’s regeneration and investment budget to support the delivery of the Christ Church and Carlton projects.

These schemes are part of a successful bid to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund which awarded £11.6 million for Maryport. This was supported by match funding from the Council of £724,000. The initiatives also include improvements to public realm through the town centre, and the Love Maryport Living residential conversion scheme which is bringing town centre homes above businesses back to life.

Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, Cllr Mike Johnson said: “I’m delighted to see that the award of construction contracts on these flagship projects, and the increase in budget for two of the biggest regeneration projects in Maryporthave been unanimously agreed. 

“Through our strategic approach to commissioning and procurement, we have been able to drive value for money by maximising competition for contracts – reducing costs by over £1million from the initial cost estimates – while simultaneously enabling more local suppliers to participate in the procurement exercises and working with experienced partner organisations to provide viable and sustainable facilities in the long term. 

“This decision is a significant step forward in the delivery of Allerdale’s exciting Maryport regeneration programme and fantastic news for Maryport.”