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Regeneration of the Cockermouth Market Place.


Work on the redevelopment of Cockermouth Market Place is progressing well with stone kerbs and stone footways now beginning to be laid. The road closure on Castlegate is due to be lifted on Friday 21st December for the contractor’s Christmas holiday period. Temporary road signs will be in place to warn drivers that the road is narrower and to ask traffic coming down the hill to give way to traffic coming up the hill. The closure will be reinstated on 7th January 2008 until 28th January 2008 at the latest in order to accommodate the completion of works on Castlegate. Works include widening of the pavement to make it safer for pedestrians and the construction of a speed table.

The section of Market Place from the entrance to Bitter Beck car park to the entrance to Kirkgate will be closed to vehicles from 28th January 2008 for seven weeks. The second section, from Bitterbeck car park entrance to the main junction near Castlegate will be closed to vehicles for three weeks following completion of the first section. The area affected is the same area that is closed for Saturday markets. Every effort will be made to keep open access to the Bitter Beck car park and properties on Market Street by doing the work in sections and controlling entry to the car park by traffic lights.

It has been deemed necessary to close parts of Market Place to vehicular traffic while the construction work is being carried out as there is insufficient space to meet the minimum legal requirements for both pedestrians and vehicles and the contractors safe working zone.

The final section of the work, covering Market Place between Castlegate and Main Street will start in mid-February. Two way traffic flow will be maintained, controlled by lights.

Everyone involved in this major development project would like to thank all local businesses and residents for their tolerance and patience so far. The development team would like to reassure everyone affected by the works that we are keenly aware of the need to minimise disruption and we are committed to keeping access as open as much as possible for both pedestrians and vehicles within the constraints of safety.

The scheme is scheduled for completion on 31st March 2008, frost and rain permitting!


Scheme D

After intensive public consultation, a decision has finally been reached on which option will be taken forward to regenerate the Cockermouth Market Place. Over the past three weeks, a fierce but constructive debate has taken place regarding the merits of five different options. During that time, nearly 500 people have taken time to write to the Partnership or to visit the website, stating preferences and also contributing valuable and well informed suggestions.

Lead Designer on the scheme Mike O’Connell from BCA landscape says:

“The public debate has provided us with a feel for all the issues. We have taken on board all comments, and analysed the way different options would affect businesses and residents in different locations. In the end, the issues around traffic flow in the town became the key factor in the final decision. The public response has enabled us to come up with an excellent and flexible design option, which still achieves the original objectives of the Cockermouth Master Plan.”

A meeting on Monday night, the 30th of July, the Cockermouth Steering Group voted to proceed with Option D which retains two way traffic in the Market Place, but with a much reduced road way and a massive increase of the public space in the Market Place. There will also be traffic calming on the approaches and better surfaces and space for pedestrians with no overall loss of parking spaces. The option to open a new road through Old Hall Went onto Kirkgate was rejected.

Sue Hannah, Secretary to the Cockermouth Partnership says;
“We have given BCA Landscape the ‘go ahead’ to develop detailed plans for Option D. A lot of work has yet to be done, but we are now confident that we have secured the £1.3m investment from the County Council, the Northwest Development Agency and the European Union. We can all be proud of this decision. It opens the door for future community engagement in new developments and is the spur to revisit the issue of traffic movement throughout Cockermouth, including parking provision. The regeneration of Market Place is just a first step on the way to a better community and business environment for the future.”

The BCA team will now work up the fine details and further consultations over the coming months. There will be ongoing engagement with interested groups and individuals to develop relevant and meaningful artworks and bespoke furniture within Market Place. Once a contractor is on board, there will be additional consultation to explain how the works will be carried out to minimise disruption to residents and businesses. Works will begin in October 2007 and should take 6 months.

Read local reactions to the plans.
Meeting 11 Sept 2007

Overall plan as at 1 Nov 2007
Detailed plans - eastern end
Detailed plans - western end
Detailed plans - centre section
Detailed plans - paving details

Progress report 23-Jan-2008

New Artwork 13-Feb-2008