While the forthcoming House of Fraser closure highlights further challenges for Carlisle, it highlights a promising opportunity too.

This is according to Suzanne Caldwell, managing director or the business lobbying group Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.

“You only have to look at the nearby Bordo Lounge to see the positive effect of change of use away from retail.

“What an impact on the feel of the Market Square that development’s had,” she said, adding that it’s ‘easy to forget the positives in the pipeline elsewhere’.

As the closure of Carlisle's House of Fraser looms closer, residents have been sharing their varied ideas for they want to see fill its space. 

Matt J Rayson said the city was 'desperate' for a bigger theatre venue that could potentially bring in popular West End productions. 

"We have the bars restaurants and cafes to serve them, Crown and Mitre hotel next door too," he wrote. 

Catherine Jayne would like to see a family-friendly destination akin to Coral Island in Blackpool: "Games arcade, small rides, indoor play area. Something different to soft play, maybe like an indoor all-weather play based on something like Disney or Harry Potter.

"Carlisle needs some good family entertainment for all ages," she said.

Ms Caldwell said of what residents ought to be getting behind: “Two, very significant, examples are the University of Cumbria developments.

“One of these is the Citadel Campus, transforming the area around, and incorporating, the Citadel and bringing real vibrancy, vitality and, not least, footfall.

“Then within walking distance will be the new medical school, with a similarly positive impact.”

Another example is STACK, the trendy shipping container-styled food, drink and entertainment hub planned for Lowther Street, which Ms Caldwell said would enhance the area.

STACK has shown to be popular elsewhere in the country, with its Northeast feature basing the model for its pitch in Carlisle, and many will remember a similar yet quickly failed operation known as Tribe, based in Bitts Park, that this will hopefully improve upon, and replicate in all but longevity.

“All in all, the future’s looking really bright for Carlisle and we all need to get behind developments such as these and make sure that future becomes a reality,” she concluded.