University of Cumbria – Carlisle Citadels


Welcome to the public consultation page for the new University of Cumbria Carlisle Campus at the Citadels and adjacent land at English Street.

The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal was signed in March 2021, which will bring up to £350million of investment into the Borderlands region, from the UK and Scottish Governments. The money will be allocated to a range of projects across the region, including the redevelopment of Carlisle Citadels buildings and adjacent land for a new University of Cumbria campus in the city centre. This will re-establish the Citadels as an iconic gateway into Carlisle and the entrance to the new University of Cumbria Campus.

There have been two public consultation events held previously for the Citadels project during 2020. These were to assist in the preparation of the business plan that was submitted to support the Borderlands funding application (which has now been approved, by the Government).

The purpose of this third public consultation is to engage with local residents, businesses and other key stakeholders to capture feedback and help shape the design; ahead of the planning application being submitted.

A Q1 2022 planning application submission is anticipated and we are aiming for a start on site in 2023 with project completion in 2026.

The Site

The site occupies a historically important place within the southern extent of Carlisle City Centre and encompasses two iconic structures known as the Citadels along with associated heritage assets.

The site is split into two separate areas divided by English Street, in which the ‘Offices and former Nisi Prius Court Buildings’ are located to the east, and the former Crown Court Buildings; Cumbria County Council offices; Properties of English Street and Paton House are located to the west of English Street.

The whole site including the Citadel buildings, adjacent properties on English Street, and the land to the rear of the site extends to some 1.65 hectares.

Strategically the site dominates the southern entrance to the City, just outside the railway station and is considered as a gateway location and as such will be transformative to the character and status of Carlisle. The Grade I Listed Citadels buildings which are of regional and national importance will be retained and reused in the proposed development.  In addition, the majority of the Woolworth Buildings, which are of local interest, are being retained and refurbished with a small proportion being demolished as they are not suitable for re-use.

The Proposed Development

The Carlisle Citadels project is at the heart of this wider transformation of Carlisle City Centre taking place over the next five years, ensuring Carlisle reaches its full potential as the hub of the Borderlands area. The redevelopment is a key component in the shared Vision for Carlisle in 2030 ‘to develop a thriving centre for business, residents, education and culture’.

The Citadels projects new campus proposal will see the University of Cumbria relocated from its two Carlisle campuses into one city centre location. Just over 14,000 square metres of space will be provided across the refurbished Citadel buildings and the new build provision.  The majority of the Woolworth Buildings are being retained and refurbished with a small proportion being demolished as they are not suitable for re-use.

An additional 6,000 square metres of space will be available on site for future university expansion. The proposals include the creation of extensive publicly accessible amenity space and new facilities such as multi purpose 200 seater lecture theatre, café, exhibition space and a Business Interaction Centre and access to the Grade 1 listed building assets. The university intends to open up both heritage assets and the new university facilities to the public. There will be limited on-site parking due to the sustainable location of the site.

A green landscaped area to the south of the Crown Court building will connect the refurbished Carlisle Station to the university campus. Furthermore, an extensive landscaped central amenity space will be provided and open to the public.

Project Vision for the Citadels

  • We will enhance Carlisle as a University City, by creating a new University of Cumbria campus at its heart. Making higher education more accessible for those within our region and attracting new people into the region too.
  • Our flagship campus will raise the profile, vibrancy and economic wellbeing of the city and region.
  • Accessible, digitally-enabled and state of the art learning will incorporate working with employers in order to upskill and reskill employees, developing the workforce of the future.
  • We will bring new thinking, partnerships and skills. Raising aspirations and educational achievements, enriching people to achieve more within the communities we serve.
  • We will be a central hub for engagement across strategic partnerships with employers, education providers and key stakeholders within the region and beyond.

A full description of the proposed development and its associated significant benefits can be downloaded via the ‘Consultation Boards’ in the below link:

Please click to view a PDF version of the Consultation Boards

Have Your Say 

Your views and ideas will help us shape our plans.

  • Do you agree that what is being proposed will raise the profile, vibrancy and economic wellbeing of the city and region?
  • Do you agree that the proposal provides an effective use of the otherwise dormant Citadels Buildings?
  • Do you agree that the design solution is sensitive to the nature of this important site?
  • Do you support the modified proposal that sees the retention of the majority of the Woolworth’s Building?

Please use the feedback form below to submit any comments. Alternatively, comments can be emailed to or posted to:

DPP, Studio 012, Haylofts, St Thomas Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LE.

Please submit your comments by 19th December 2021.

We look forward to receiving your comments on the proposed development.

Feedback Form

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