Plans to demolish Workington’s former Opera bingo club have been given a £750,000 kickstart by the Government.
Allerdale council has revealed that it will receive the cash from the Government’s accelerated funding pot to carry out immediate projects to boost the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said it will use the money to “create a new outdoor events and activity area surrounding the town’s leisure centre”.
It adds that the money will be used to ‘redevelop’ the former Opera House building, on Tiffin Lane, create a cycleway between Central Way and the Brow Top car park, redevelop the former opera house, improve lighting and create Workington artwork to line the cycleway.
Flimby-based contractor Thomas Armstrong will be on site this week to create a paved area which could house a mobile big screen and new pathways for walking and jogging.
Mark Jenkinson, Workington MP, said: “The Government’s accelerated funding allows us an early start on some much-needed public realm improvements.
“An outdoor gym and performance space to follow, alongside the demolition of eyesore buildings. This is just the start of a really exciting plan to make Workington fit for the future.”
Led by Allerdale Borough Council, a further £25 million has been bid for by Workington in order to carry out more regeneration projects in the town.
This money would be provided by the Towns Fund which will spend £3.6 billion nationally in order to improve English towns.
Deputy council leader Mike Johnson said: “The Towns Fund has the potential to really transform Workington and wider West Cumbria and the accelerated funding has allowed us to make a start on our ambitious plans.”
John Coughlan, the chair of the Town Deal board – the organisation which advised on what projects should be included – added: “While we await news on our bid to Government it’s really pleasing to see these works begin.
“They will make a big difference to all the people who use our town centre and hopefully there’ll be more good news on the way in the coming months.”