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Saturday, 01 November 2014

City centre needs its own business park says MP

A business park should be built in the city centre, according to Carlisle MP John Stevenson.

There have been concerns about high street retail coming under increasing pressure from online shopping and there are fears that the situation could be exacerbated in the city should Carlisle United incorporate a retail park into its new stadium plans.

But Mr Stevenson says Carlisle should start planning for the future and top of his shopping list is a business park to support new and small enterprises which would be linked to the University.

And he wants this hub not to be on the fringes of the city which is the traditional home of business parks, but right in the city centre where it will support retail outlets.

“The city centre of the future will be very different and may have to be smaller so the council need to start thinking about it now.

“We hear a lot about retail affecting the city by moving out, but we need a more active and modern city centre and a business park within the city will help that,” he said.

Mr Stevenson said he supported the suggestion of brining the county council’s HQ into the city and was fully behind the idea of a new stadium for Carlisle United, but added: “They must ensure that their plans do not adversely affect the city centre – they must be complementary.”

The MP also wanted to see effort put into growing a night time economy in Carlisle rather than have a centre that closes down when the shops shut. 

He told our business website in-cumbria.com: “Carlisle has got a good city centre, but we have got to plan for the future because it will change and it might have to shrink slightly.”

Carlisle needs a strategic plan that covered infrastructure, SME support and the needs of large employers, he added. 

Mr Stevenson was speaking at the Chamber of Commerce autumn lunch and told his audience that were plenty of causes for optimism in about the Carlisle economy, not least the amount of major investments made by companies such as Sainsbury’s, Pirelli, Tesco and Print Graphic.

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