Funding approved for new University of Cumbria Business Interaction Center

The University of Cumbria is delighted to strengthen its links with local businesses with the news that funding has been approved to develop the Carlisle Business Exchange (CBE).

As part of the development of the new Citadels campus, the Carlisle Town Deal Investment Plan has received £19.7 million in central government funding, of which £4 million has been allocated for the CBE to be hosted on the new downtown campus.

The CBE will provide 800 m² of ultra-fast and digital commercial interaction and accommodation spaces, as part of the development of the 1.65 hectare Citadelles site. It will encourage and maximize innovation and collaboration with the university (staff and students) for external companies located or settling in the CBE. This will include start-ups, growing businesses and a flexible “touch down” space for larger companies.

It will also provide a hub of knowledge exchange, a central (and known) location where academic research and knowledge exchange staff can be co-located with at least part of the business community they wish to engage with. . The flexible, high-quality coworking space will contribute to downtown vitality and footfall and provide a location for business incubation, including those created by university staff and students.

The CBE is one of six projects set to receive Town Deal funding, alongside Start with the Park, St Cuthbert’s Garden Village; South Gate; Tullie Project; Light Carlisle; and a digital and community learning center.

University of Cumbria Vice-Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell welcomed the news and said: “I am delighted to hear that funding for the Carlisle Town Deal has been approved.

“This is a truly exciting time for our city and region, with each of the municipal agreement projects offering significant benefits in their own right.

“The development of a university campus in the city center has the potential to transform the character and status of Carlisle and the wider Borderlands region. However, it is the strategic and collaborative approach taken by all parties involved that will ensure that we deliver enormous and lasting impact for our city, our businesses and our communities.

The planning application for the University of Cumbria’s Carlisle Citadels flagship campus project was submitted to Carlisle City Council in April this year.

Designed by DAY Architectural Ltd., the new campus plans include maintaining the two Grade I listed Citadel rotundas on the proposed site along with other historic and heritage features including the Woolworths and Burton buildings. Accessible, inclusive and inspiring, the design also seeks to open up the site and facilities, in a managed way, to the local community.

The Carlisle Citadels campus project was developed by the University of Cumbria, Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council and Cumbria LEP as key partners.

Funding of £50m for the project is provided by the Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) under the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Agreement with the additional £4m from the Carlisle Town Deal Fund and the university should help reach the 77.5 million total cost.

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