The Cockermouth Market Place Area Masterplan will be launched at the Kirkgate Centre at 7pm on Thursday 5th October. This illustrates a vision of prosperous local independent retailers and creative enterprise against a backdrop of attractive buildings and a well designed streetscape.
The masterplan includes projects to:
"The Masterplan is the result of several months of consultation and planning with local businesses and residents and represents their vision. It will make the Market Place Area an even better place to live, work, shop, visit and run a business" explains Ged Acton, Regeneration Manager at Cockermouth Partnership. "By building on existing strengths such as the heritage buildings, the arts and high-quality independent retailers, we can create a unique and distinctive area that adds value to the whole Town Centre offering. This helps retain and attract more businesses and customers, stimulating a successful commercial and tourist centre, a stronger economy and better quality of life for local people."
Cockermouth Partnership is looking to allocate over £500,000 from its Market Town Initiative and raise at least a further £800,000 towards implementation in 2007-08. Margaret Jackson, Mayor of Cockermouth stated "The Masterplan is a combination of long-term aspirations and immediately achievable goals."
Something exciting is happening over the bridge in Cockermouth. At the top of Main Street and over the River Cocker lies an area including Market Place, Market Street, Castlegate and Kirkgate that was once the commercial centre of the town. This area contains the Town Hall, Jennings Brewery, All Saints Church, the Kirkgate Centre, a number of excellent galleries and places to eat and a variety of locally owned shops and services ranging from Antiques to Mountain bikes, ironware to cakes.
Cockermouth Partnership, a local group seeking to improve the economic, social and cultural well-being of the area, sees great potential in what has been called the "Market Place Area". They have prioritised the area's improvement through a range of consultation events and focus groups dating back to 2000 and aim to build on the existing character and strengths to increase the cultural, leisure and shopping appeal, attract more visitors and local people and add value to the local environment and economy. This will be achieved through a variety of as-yet unconfirmed projects, from business support to building developments, public art, improved public realm and signage.
Currently at the planning stage, over £1million of investment has been earmarked for this project and over half of that total has been pledged by the North West Regional Development Agency for 2007-08. It will therefore have a significant impact. There will be opportunities for local people to engage with the planning of future development before April 2006 - keep an eye on the local press for details.
The vision for the Market Place area is one of economic prosperity, a vibrant social and cultural scene and an enhanced aesthetic aspect. Developments must involve local businesses and residents, consider existing assets and respect the traditional and rural values of the population, but adapt them so as to enhance social, environmental and economic wellbeing. The regenerated area should play an integral role in Cockermouth's development as a successful commercial and tourist centre.
For more information on this or any of Cockermouth Partnership's activities, call Ged Acton on 01900 828403.
The Cockermouth Partnership held its first AGM in the Victoria Hall on Tuesday September 7 2004. The meeting included representatives from Cockermouth Town and Allerdale Councils plus the Chamber of Trade and public. The meeting gave a warm welcome to Alastair Wyllie as newly appointed Project Manager. Mr Wylie's previous record included working as Town Centre Manager for Dumfries.
The meeting also welcomed on board Mr Malcolm Clarke as a new director. Mr Clarke holds several posts in the town and is accountant with Jennings Brothers Brewery.
The Partnership heard that despite the "frustrations" caused by the sudden departure of previous manager, Mr Tony Walker, the objectives of some 47 projects for the town attracting North West Development Agency aid were still achievable. But the meeting was told that the final bid documents had to be finalised by a December 2004 deadline.
Among the many schemes being included in the bid are Market Place regeneration, sports and youth schemes, an astronomical clock, skateboard park and Georgian Fair.
The Partnership is based on the Lakeland Business Park Tel. 01900 828403.
Cockermouth Action Plan final version [pdf format]