TWO historic town centre buildings are at the centre of multi-million-pound plans to create a vibrant community and cultural hub in the heart of Cleator Moor.
Detailed proposals are being developed to transform and connect the existing town hall and library into an inspirational multi-use space as part of a major investment project.
The wider Town Square environment is also in line for investment, while plans to create additional flexible and modern working space at Phoenix Enterprise Centre are included in the scheme.
Working with Copeland Borough Council, the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board secured an offer of £22.5 million from the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund initiative last summer.
Four projects have now reached the crucial business case assurance stage, meaning detailed plans have been submitted for internal assessment ahead of final submission to the government later this year.
Plans for Town Square, the town hall and library buildings and the Phoenix Enterprise Centre are a part of the Revitalised Town project.
It aims to tackle the issue of underutilised buildings, improve the presentation and perception of Cleator Moor town centre, make the town more attractive to investors and provide skills and employment opportunities for local people.
Bob Metcalfe, Chair of the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board, said: “We are working hard on the finer points of our Revitalised Town project plan ahead of submission to the government later this year.
“Our vision is to take two of our town’s heritage buildings and invest a significant sum into their transformation, creating an exciting, inclusive and modern community hub to provide a wide range of services and opportunities to residents of the town.
“The wider proposed work to Town Square and the Phoenix Enterprise Centre will bring added benefits, with the whole project making our town centre a place where people choose to spend their time, where investors focus their money and where opportunities are created.
“This is an ambitious and exciting project which forms part of the once in a lifetime opportunity we have at the moment to secure significant investment for Cleator Moor.”
If the plans are approved, the new hub will include:
- A café that can operate as a bar.
- A multi-functional space that can be used for training, community activities, performances or exhibitions
- A tourist information and reception point
- A youth zone space offering activities, employability support and break out space.
- A reconfigured library with reading space and internet access.
- Meeting rooms both for public and council service use.
- A sound-proofed digital media studio.
At the Phoenix Enterprise Centre, there are plans to create high quality, flexible business space for existing and new tenants, along with incubator spaces to help fledgling companies to grow.
Wider improvements to the Town Square environment to make it a more pleasant and enjoyable place to spend time are also planned as part of the project.
There are three other projects that form part of the Town Deal.
Enterprising Town – the redevelopment of the existing Leconfield Industrial Estate to provide employment and training opportunities for residents in Cleator Moor as well as helping to diversify the local economy. The proposal would create new buildings on site including an Enterprise Campus Hub, the refurbishment of existing units and extensive landscaping.
Healthy Town – To enhance existing sports and leisure provision to create a modern multi-purpose centre including an indoor sports hall, flexible studio space, gym and café, alongside wider health and well-being provision. This will improve population health and generate more reasons for people to visit and spend time in Cleator Moor.
Connected Town – this scheme will deliver a high-quality integrated and sustainable transport network which improves connections between employment, education, amenities and leisure and transforms the accessibility and attractiveness of Cleator Moor.
Further details for each of the projects will be made available after the assurance stage is complete when people will be able to comment on the proposals before their submission to Government later this year.