Strong public support for £25m Workington redevelopment proposals
Proposals for a multi-million pound redevelopment of Workington have received strong support from members of the public.
Those who live and work in the town were invited to give their feedback on a number of projects which were proposed to submit to the Government’s Towns Fund, a £3.6bn pot which aims to level-up funding and opportunities for communities across the country.
Workington was one of more than 100 towns across the country invited to bid to the fund and, if successful, could lead to an investment of around £25m in the town.
The proposals were developed by the Workington Town Deal board, a mix of public, private and voluntary sector partners, following public consultation earlier this year. A second round of public consultation finished last week with strong support shown for the projects.
More than 500 people responded to the consultation and a majority of those people either agreed or strongly agreed with the each of the projects put forward.
At a meeting yesterday Executive members of Allerdale Borough Council, the lead authority for the bid, approved a draft version of the Workington Town Investment Plan, with final approval for submission delegated to the Council’s Deputy Leader, chief executive and chair of the Town Deal board.
Cllr Mike Johnson, Deputy Leader of the Council, said:
“The objective of the fund is to drive economic regeneration which has a real long-term positive economic impact. I believe the set of proposals we have before us meets these ambitions. The high level of support gives us confidence to move forward with the inclusion of all of the identified projects within the Town Investment Plan.
“This is a real opportunity for the town of Workington which, if successful, will have a big impact on the wider west Cumbria area as a whole. Our Council Strategy commits us to build resilient communities, grow our economy, and ensure we have thriving towns and villages. These proposals do all of those things.”
A bid will be submitted to the Government before the end of this month.
The proposals being put forward are:
- Improving the town centre’s public spaces and connectivity
- Creating a ‘sports village’, including a shared community stadium and associated sports facilities for Workington Town and Reds as well as for public use
- Creating an innovation centre and co-working space to increase skills and provide space for early-stage businesses
- Developing a logistics and clean energy hub at the Port of Workington
- Developing a digital skills programme
- Redeveloping the former opera house site in town centre and in the short-term creating space for local businesses to trade, for example through providing a street food offer