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Workington Town Deal

Workington has been invited, by Government, to develop proposals to support the town's economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

Communities, businesses and local groups have the opportunity to help draw up a Town Investment Plan for submission to Government in the autumn. If successful, the Investment Plan could attract up to £25 million in funding to deliver projects in Workington.

Towns Fund Prospectus

What can the money fund?

The Towns Fund will provide the core public investment in Town Deals – additional funding may come from other sources or parts of government. The objective of the Fund is to drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long term economic and productivity growth through:

  • Urban regeneration, planning and land use: ensuring towns are thriving places for people to live and work, including by: increasing density in town centres; strengthening local economic assets including local cultural assets; site acquisition, remediation, preparation, regeneration; and making full use of planning tools to bring strategic direction and change.
  • Skills and enterprise infrastructure: driving private sector investment and ensuring towns have the space to support skills and small business development.
  • Connectivity: developing local transport schemes that complement regional and national networks, as well as supporting the delivery of improved digital connectivity

What would you do to make Workington an even better place to live and work in?

The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government set up a website where people could offer ideas about what they would do with the development money. Submissions for the Workington project have now closed but you can view the suggestions on  the MyTowns website  

#MyTown image of Workington

How is the Workington Towns Deal application being run by the Council?

The Council has set up a Workington Towns Deal Board to oversee the drafting of the Town Investment Plan. The Board's agendas, papers and meetings are published here, please click the box below for further information.

Workington Town Deal - September 2020 update

Allerdale Borough Council in partnership with the Workington Town Deal Board, is developing a Workington Town Investment Plan which will present a vision for the town and describes how it will be achieved.  

Our ambition is to create a more attractive place to live, with a thriving economy, leading to more jobs for local people. Workington is one of 101 UK towns that is on track for a new 'Town Deal' – which could see up to £25m to spend on improvements across the town.  

The Town Deal Board’s Workington Town Investment Plan outlines a vision for the town, focusing on: 

  • growing the Workington economy and employment through focusing on its strengths in manufacturing and clean energy, and its role as West Cumbria’s primary service centre. 
  • attracting new and growing businesses through offering a skilled workforce, a competitive cost base, and localised support.  
  • offering high-quality academic and vocational education and training opportunities to its residents and people across West Cumbria. 
  • bolstering its natural and built environment offer for residents and visitors. 
  • ensuring Workington's town centre prospers through attracting residents and public and private investment, diversifying existing uses. 
  • developing excellent digital and physical connectivity. 
  • distributing the proceeds of Workington’s growth are shared widely in the local community. 
  • ensuring Workington remains a safe, healthy, affordable and sustainable community. 

This will be funded through the Towns Fund, a new government scheme that will help improve where we live, work and enjoy, boost jobs and grow local economies as it builds for the future post Covid-19. 

Consultation

Thank you to more than 120 residents who submitted their ideas early in 2020 via the ‘MyTown’ website. The ideas have informed the Board’s thinking. A second stage of the consultation process was held in September and October 2020.

Proposals considered in September 2020

To retain its role as West Cumbria’s primary retail and commercial hub, Workington needs to offer a town centre that is attractive, accessible for all and complementary to its heritage. Recognising this, the Town Deal Board have developed a series of projects focused on providing high quality public realm, urban connectivity and green infrastructure across the town centre.

Proposals are being developed in detail, but are likely to include:

  • Improved pedestrian crossings on key highways such as Washington Street, better connecting heritage areas to the retail centre, and at the junction of the A597 and Station Road, directing rail users to the town centre.
  • New public realm and pedestrian improvements on Murray Road and Oxford Street, helping support retail footfall.

The Workington Sports Village projects aims to build on existing and proposed sports and leisure facilities close to Workington Town Centre to create a multi-purpose sports village that will provide high quality inclusive and accessible sporting facilities for both community and professional clubs that will be sustainable in the long term.

The proposals would include:

  • the redevelopment of the existing ground at Borough Park to create a new shared stadium for Workington Reds and Workington Town to provide a new modern stadium that will meet the aspirations of the clubs and provide a foundation for their future progression.
  • the new stadium would sit alongside a new community facility based around an artificial grass pitch with the potential to introduce other facilities to support a range of other sports.
  • the new facilities would be located closed to the Workington Leisure Centre where a new outdoors events space and outdoor gym is to be built and close to the well-established cricket and bowling club and the aim would be to provide a hub of sporting excellence.
  • it is also proposed to provide investment in the improvement of existing playing pitches at Moorclose to provide a satellite facility for the Sports Village and meet to meet the wider demand for high quality playing pitches in Workington

The Workington Innovation Centre is a proposed flexible town centre office space solution for start-up and growing businesses in West Cumbria, as well as high quality co-working space for local knowledge workers.

This major investment recognises the limitations of existing office provision in Workington. Similar schemes have been successful around Cumbria and in comparable communities around the country. The project will help to ensure west Cumbria’s entrepreneurs can invest locally, as well as allowing local residents to benefit from changing employment patterns, particularly following COVID-19.

The facility will be housed in a flexible, energy efficient office building, on the Central Car Park site on Central Way in Workington. This will be part of a wider planned regeneration of this major town centre site, designed to augment and extend the existing town centre. Other uses for the site are likely to include housing, café/restaurant provision and community facilities.

The Port of Workington is a key asset for the town and has the potential for expansion and growth. The Towns Fund offers the opportunity to enhance the role that the port plays in the local economy by bringing forward new development land there, and on the Oldside site, to its north.

As key landowners Allerdale Borough Council and Cumbria County Council would work together develop serviced land around the Port and at Oldside, allowing it become a key location for the logistics and the clean energy sector within west Cumbria.

These are sectors where Workington and the wider region already excels, and this investment will support new jobs and help place the town further at the heart of the national government’s clean growth agenda.

In today’s economy digital skills are no longer optional. Employers report significant numbers of difficult to fill vacancies due to the lack of general or specific digital skills.

This project will secure the provision of high level, specific digital skills – the skills required to build a career. These are the skills that employers report a difficulty in sourcing and identify as the skills required to drive productivity growth. Crucially these are also the skills that will provide resilience in a turbulent labour market.

Workington benefits from a range of high quality institutions within the Cumbria skills system. These institutions deliver a range skills interventions to young people, adults and employers in the area building the workforce that employers need now and in the future.

This project builds on the breadth of the skills offer in the area and focuses on addressing what is widely considered one of the most significant skills challenges facing the economy – digital skills.

The Workington Digital Accelerator will be an investment in a high quality skills cluster within existing facilities to provide Workington with an axis for the delivery of high level, specific digital skills which can be summarised as follows:

  • Data analysis, curation and visualisation
  • Cybersecurity
  • Client relationship management (CRM)
  • Digital Design and Marketing
  • Machining and manufacturing technology

In addition, the Workington Digital Accelerator will look to promote the acquisition of baseline digital skills as a route into employment and digital skills as a driver of enterprise and entrepreneurialism.

A modern, attractive home for independent food and drinks businesses

We're hoping to buy the Workington Opera House site on Ladies Walk, which has been derelict since 2004, using advanced funding from the Towns Fund. The Opera House occupies a valuable site in the heart of Workington’s town centre, and its purchase offers the opportunity for renewal of this area.

The Council, over the longer-term is looking at a comprehensive renewal of this part of the town centre, encompassing a larger area adjacent to the Opera House. This will involve the demolition of the Opera House and potentially the acquisition and regeneration of disused neighbouring properties.

In the short term, Workington’s Town Deal Board propose to enliven this area through introducing a ‘street food’ offering on the Opera House site. This will allow west Cumbria’s independent food and beverage vendors more opportunity to reach potential customers in affordable temporary facilities, while complementing the offering provided by existing town centre occupiers.

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