An ambitious blueprint to build 1,000 homes in Carlisle will attract young blood to the city and lay the foundation for the district’s future success, authority chiefs have claimed.

St Cuthbert’s Garden Village is the most northerly of 14 Government-backed schemes designed to boost jobs and improve roads and school.

But council leader Colin Glover said he also hoped the development in the south of the city would attract more working age people.

By 2020, almost a quarter of Cumbria’s residents will be aged 65 and over.

Speaking at an executive meeting on Monday, Coun Glover said: “This is the largest garden village in the programme in the UK and it demonstrates the confidence the Government has in the ability of our city council to deliver projects of large scale like this.

“This gives us a solid foundation to deliver something special for Carlisle that will continue our growth ambitions.

"We know we need to grow the working age population in Carlisle. We want to ensure that people looking for study and business opportunities see Carlisle as a very solid and real option.

“I honestly believe that this has laid the foundations for the success of the city in the future.”

The council is still waiting for the outcome of a £102m funding bid that would help support a new link road connecting Junction 42 of the M6 and the A595 as part of the plans.

The authority is also waiting to find out the result of a second bid for a capacity fund grant, the results of which are expected imminently.

City chiefs have already vowed to press ahead with the plans regardless of the bid outcomes.

The authority’s economic growth scrutiny panel has warned that infrastructure must keep pace with development.

Paul Nedved, panel chairman, said: “There was a recognition from the panel that the garden village could have an important bearing on the future growth of Carlisle aligned with future housing needs, employment and business opportunities.

“However, the panel made the important point that infrastructure was essential whether it be future school provision, employment sites, green spaces and the proposed southern link road from junction 42 to A595.

“It was felt that it is critical that all members – and I do mean all members – are kept abreast of the development.

"I think a formal council meeting might be the best mechanism for doing that.”