Views Sought on New ‘Gateway’ into Town Centre

artists impression of a improved entrance to Stramongate, Kendal

Residents and business owners are being urged to help shape the look of a scheme to create a new pedestrian-friendly “gateway” into Kendal town centre.

The public realm improvement project for the upper section of Stramongate where it meets Blackhall Road, led by South Lakeland District Council, will create a more pedestrian-friendly space and a better entrance point, while still allowing left-turning vehicles.

The project has been guided by the aspirations and objectives in SLDC’s Kendal Town Centre Strategy, aligned with Kendal Futures’ Kendal Vision, which initiated a call to embrace change, new ideas and innovation for the town’s future.

The scheme will include a new raised footpath across the mouth of the junction using natural stone sets and flagstones, which will increase the accessible area for pedestrians. Entrance and exit ramps will provide vehicular access across the space whilst Stramongate will remain unchanged beyond the junction at this time.

Planting will provide a softened gateway entrance to this intimate shopping street, and trees will reduce traffic noise and air pollution from Blackhall Road for a more pleasant shopping and visitor environment.

It will showcase the public realm ambitions of the Kendal Vision to benefit businesses, residents and visitors and set a precedent for future schemes to improve connectivity in Kendal Town Centre.

With this in mind, SLDC is seeking views from residents and businesses on the proposed materials used in this scheme and their potential use in the future in other projects.

Cllr Jonathan Brook, Leader of South Lakeland District Council, said: “Upper Stramongate is an important shopping street that also houses a weekly market. It is a busy pedestrian link between the town centre and amenities such as the railway station, the bus station, Kendal Museum and Kendal College Arts & Media Campus – with the number of pedestrians and cyclists in this area due to increase with the opening of the new Gooseholme bridge in the summer. I am delighted to see this project take shape with our partners Kendal Futures and Cumbria County Council and excited to see how it will improve the quality of the public space, the business environment, and to increase people’s access and enjoyment of Kendal.

“These public realm improvements will benefit businesses, residents and visitors, but more importantly are just the beginning in developing partners’ shared placemaking vision for the future of the town centre. Additional funding streams continue to be investigated to add to our initial investment and drive meaningful, positive and long-lasting development in the town centre.”

The work is being funded by money from Section 106 developer contributions received by the council from the Sainsbury’s supermarket development in Kendal to be used by the council on the northern approaches to Kendal Town Centre to mitigate the impact of the development on the town’s infrastructure.

The final costings for the scheme are being finalised and as such may be subject to minor amendments.

Residents and businesses can have their say via the online engagement link at until midnight on 27 March 2022.

Image: An artist’s impression of what the town centre ‘gateway’ into upper Stramongate could look like.