Summary of discussions and activities
Chair – Ian Reay
Meetings have been held monthly since November 2021. In the last few months the group has:
- Encouraged the owner of the fire damaged building at the top of Finkle Street to take action to repair the building and improve the overall appearance of the street.
- Discussed the Story Homes outline proposals for new homes and employment buildings at Land at Burton Road and considered whether they meet the needs of Kendal and align with the Vision.
- Reviewed the Birdcage and area at the top of Finkle Street for potential public realm improvements to better facilitate events.
- Discussed improving and brightening up some of the yards via temporary artworks, performance and animations linked by a participative event, working with a local arts organisation.
- Working with the Environment Agency, a sub-group, led by Terry Parr, is working to improve the planting of their planned fernery garden at Stramongate Bridge. The group is working to extend and improve the planting scheme with cuttings from local ferns, develop interpretation boards and information and involve the local community.
- Researching how to encourage building owners to consider changing above the shop spaces into good quality homes.
- A programme of activity to improve some of Kendal’s Yards. The group is currently identifying ownerships and seeking potential sponsors to support the practical plans.
- Exploring the potential for Smart Bins to reduce clutter in public areas around the town centre. Some good examples can be seen in other European towns. Investment and suitable locations are needed.
They have previously discussed:
- The potential to see if another Farmers’ Market each month might be considered
- The condition of some town centre properties (and what action is being taken)
- The introduction of more greenery and ways to bring ‘nature’ into the town centre
- A desire to see more living in the town centre and whether existing buildings could be developed to faciliate this
- A study has been suggested to investigate how much vacant space exists (above the shops or in under used commercial premises).
The environment has been prominent in discussions, linking to the recommendations of the Climate Change Citizen’s Jury. A proposal suggested encouraging local people to complete an online measuring tool so a town level carbon footprint could begin to be assessed. A PhD student from Lancaster University has volunteered some time to this project, along with SLDC’s Climate Change and Bio-diversity Specialist.
Collaboration with other Action Groups will be encouraged.