The group behind plans to improve Kendal has been sharing the progress it has made.
Kendal Futures launched the Kendal Vision in March 2020, alongside South Lakeland District Council’s Kendal Town Centre Strategy.
Mark Cropper, chairman of Kendal Futures, said: “At the heart of the Kendal Vision is building a more resilient and vibrant high street and evening economy by increasing the number of people who live and work in the town centre, and improving the way we access and enjoy it.
“The vision aims to reduce the impact of traffic and pollution in the town, improve the look and feel of the town centre and reduce the amount of greenfield development on Kendal’s outskirts. The information we’ve shared shows the future ambition for Kendal but this is just the start and we intend to continue to hold similar events as plans develop.”
Since the publication of the vision, work has being going on, including the formation of Kendal Town Team – made up of South Lakeland District Council, Kendal Futures, Kendal Town Council and Cumbria County Council – to jointly drive projects on.
More than 100 people attended a recent drop-in event in the town to find out about Kendal Futures’ progress.
Its successes, it said, included approval of the Stramongate public realm improvement scheme for the upper section of Stramongate where it meets Blackhall Road – informed by the vision and setting the scene for high-quality materials to be used in future schemes – as well as developing priority projects from the vision to catalyse positive future change in the town.
Kendal Futures board member, Noel Farrer, said public consultation at the start of the vision process gathered many ideas and aspirations which were drawn together to form the Kendal Vision.
The district council, Kendal Futures, Kendal Town Council, Cumbria County Council and others, including Kendal College, have identified “pioneer projects” and some of those have been included in a bid for investment from round two of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The priority projects are:
Town centre regeneration
- New education accommodation at the Westmorland Shopping Centre, creating a third campus for Kendal College;
- Regeneration of the historic Market Hall;
- Regeneration of the Market Place.
Enhancement of the riverside active travel route from Abbot Hall, along Waterside and linking to the town centre up Kent Street.
South Lakeland has been identified as Category 3 – the lowest priority of need, creating an expectation that applications would need to be exceptional if they are to be successful. Bids will also be evaluated based on the other fund criteria of strategic fit, value for money and deliverability.
The projects, if funded, would enable the town to better meet the needs of younger people and business, making the most of its natural and heritage assets and further embedding education in the heart of the town and creating higher quality space for markets, events and other social activities. They would also improve connectivity to the town centre and enhance the walking and cycling route along the river.
They will be part of a wider strategy for the next phase of the town’s evolution, enabling the district as a whole to better meet the needs of younger people and business, bringing a focus on further embedding education in the heart of the town and creating higher-quality space for markets, events and other social activities, as well as active travel.
In 2021, SLDC approved £285,294 of core support over three years to Kendal Futures Community Interest Company (CIC) to deliver activities identified in the Kendal Vision and Kendal Town Centre Strategy, including the appointment of a Vision Manager and associated action group work.