Kendal Vision Progress Update – 8th July 2022

Moves to kick-start era-defining projects with the potential to be a catalyst for wide-ranging improvements in Kendal are gathering pace.

Members of the public will be able to see and hear about the progress at a special event to update on progress on the Kendal Vision.

Kendal Futures’ Vision was launched in March 2020 jointly with South Lakeland District Council’s Kendal Town Centre Strategy.

Residents are invited to drop in to find out more about progress since then in the Town Council Chamber in Kendal Town Hall on Friday 8 July, from 10am until 3pm. A presentation will take place at 11am.

Since the publication of the Vision, a lot of 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.

Recent successes have 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.

The priority projects identified are:

Project A – 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;

Project B – Riverside Corridor

Enhancement of the riverside active travel route from Abbot Hall, along Waterside and linking to the town centre up Kent Street.

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.

Mark Cropper, chairman of Kendal Futures, said: “Our community played a huge part in creating the Kendal Vision – a staggering 2,000 people of all ages shared their views about what’s important to them, shaping the Vision’s themes and opportunities.  Since then, despite the challenges of the pandemic, work has been progressing on multiple fronts with our partners to develop new initiatives and ensure Kendal’s future success.

“The Vision provides long-term inspiration for change in Kendal, and while there’s still a lot to do, we’ve made a great start and we’re looking forward to telling the community all about it.”

The day will include and update on progress and project ideas from Kendal Futures’ Action Groups, and how local people can get involved.

In 2021, SLDC approved £285,294 of core support over the next 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.

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: “This is an exciting time in our joint journey towards turning the transformational ambitions of all the Kendal Town Team partners into realities which will make a real difference to the people of Kendal and beyond.

“The priority projects embody SLDC’s ambitions to attract external funding and deliver critical infrastructure, use culture and built heritage and our unique selling points to enhance our communities and develop town centres which are attractive and accessible for living, working and exploring.”