Tuesday, 01 December 2015

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Bright future in store for area of Carlisle hit by floods

The opening of a new £40 million superstore will mark the rebirth of an area almost destroyed in the 2005 floods, a former MP has said.

Cutting the first sod in Caldewgate are, from left, councillors Olwyn Luckley and Trevor Allison; Derek Simpson, unit manager for Barr Construction, John Stevenson MP, councillor Willie Whalen, Elsie Martlew, former MP Eric Martlew, and Marion Jones, landlady of The Joiners Arms

Eric Martlew, Carlisle MP until 2010, was at a ceremony in Caldewgate yesterday to mark the start of construction work on a Sainsbury’s supermarket due to open this autumn.

Mr Martlew, who lives over the road from the site, said the store, which will create 450 jobs, can be the start of a development boom for Caldewgate that could see it returned to its former glory.

“This is an area that had never really recovered from the floods, so to see this work starting is really positive,” he said.

“Hopefully, this can be the start of an exciting period of redevelopment for Caldewgate. We live just opposite, so we are really looking forward to it opening in the autumn.”

Locals fear the development could cause traffic problems, but Mr Martlew disagrees.

“I don’t think we will see the traffic problems some people are predicting,” he said.

“We’ve managed to get the Carlisle Northern Development Route (CNDR) open which has taken a lot of the traffic away from here.

“I know people are worried about the city centre, with the number of shops closing down, but I don’t think this development will affect that.

“This isn’t really an out-of-town development; it’s close enough to the centre for people to use both.”

Current Carlisle MP John Stevenson helped cut the first sod on the development at yesterday’s ceremony.

He said: “This is a great day for Carlisle.

“It’s fantastic to see work start on a project that will create so many jobs and help revive this part of the city.

“This is really good news for people on the west side of the city who will now have this store, when previously they had to trek across town.

“The next stage now is for a store to be built in Morton.”

Demolition started late last year to clear the site, which had housed a row of shops on Church Street and vacant warehousing and industrial units at the corner of Bridge Street and Bridge Lane.

The 60,000 sq ft store will have parking for 446 cars and a petrol station.


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