AN HISTORIC Edwardian shopping arcade is getting a spruce-up and "new lease of life".

The Lowther Arcade, which runs between Lowther Street and English Street, in Carlisle, is undergoing restoration which includes repairs to the glass roof over the walkway, the conversion of office space into accommodation and the conversion of the former Molly's bar into an office.

The arcade is currently home to a number of bars such as In the Meantime.

Steven Hart, manager of the arcade's Circle Bar, has welcomed the facelift as "good news".

He said: "They are taking out the green netting under the glass roof and are doing a total restoration of it.

"They are also decorating the insides.

"The glass work started some of weeks ago.

"The biggest thing is definitely the netting, a couple of years ago we used to have beautiful seating outside but in the last couple of years it became a bit more dark and dingy - so now it should be a lot brighter for people out there."

Katharine Simmons, bar supervisor, said: "We are super-excited and can't wait for it to be finished.

"The renovations are ongoing but it is about time, as the arcade has started looking a bit drab.

"This will give it a new lease of life."

Steven said that he and the owners are looking at when the Circle Bar would again be opening and how to do safely after the lockdown.

The entrance to the arcade, on Lowther Street, was given Grade II listed status by Historic England, an organisation that looks after the nation's built heritage, in 1994.

According to its website: "Entrance to arcade of two shops with offices above.

"Dated 1904 it was for the Carlisle Old Brewery Company by Henry Higginson of Carlisle.

"Red brick with rusticated and alternate block quoins, all dressings of calciferous sandstone, sill bands and modillioned cornice.

"Welsh slate mansard roof with boxed dormers and coped gables; red brick end and ridge chimney stacks.

"Three and a half storeys, three bays.

"Central through flattened archway gives access to Lowther Arcade; flanking 20th Century shop windows within original rusticated pilasters, carried around the returns under the arch.

"Above the central bay has alternate block quoins; all windows are tripartite with alternate-block columns, the window over the arch is bowed and above is a carved scrolled panel inscribed 'Lowther Arcade'.

"Plans for this building in Cumbria County Record Office, were approved 19 June 1903, its style was to match the Three Crowns Hotel in English Street, at the other end of the arcade, which was built earlier to the same architect's designs."