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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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New gateway signs plan to give Carlisle fresher feel

Entrances to Carlisle are poised to get a facelift as part of efforts to give the city a fresher feel.

Carlisle gateway sign graphic
An artist’s impression of how the new signs might look

Decades-old gateway signs welcoming people to the city’s boundaries have already been removed from several places because of their tired look.

Now plans are being drawn up to get new ones in place – and city council leaders hope they’ll leave people in no doubt about where they are.

The gateway signs are to be created as part of a package of new markers to better point people through the city and in the direction of its assets and attractions.

Work is building on that already underway to improve branding and image through the Carlisle Story group, an alliance of public and private agencies formed to promote the city and boost its financial prospects. The group has a string of key business players as ambassadors.

Design and brand specialists Peter Anderson Studios have come up with some initial ideas for how new gateway signs might look as part of work with the Carlisle Story team, which will now be developed.

Members of the council’s ruling executive this week agreed to release £25,000 to develop a “comprehensive signage and interpretation package” that includes the entrance signs, wayfinding posts for the city centre, wayfinding hubs for car parks, bus and rail interchanges and ways to highlight historic details about places including the Old Town Hall and Rickergate.

Jane Meek, the authority’s economic development director, told The Cumberland News: “This is all part of a package of shaping the city and showing what the city has to offer to show we’re an up-and-coming place and a confident city.”

She also hopes better signage in the city centre could better promote places such as the tourist information centre in the Old Town Hall.

“It would link to the refurbishment of the tourist information centre, so it becomes more ambassadorial for the city,” Mrs Meek added.

A report to councillors said it was a logical step for the authority to come up with a package of signs that could be rolled out as projects to improve and enhance the city are rolled out.

Council deputy leader Elsie Martlew told executive colleagues that new signage would give the city a much-needed facelift.

She said: “We have a programme of public realm improvements and signage and interpretation does have a significant impact on what we are trying to achieve.

“Our current signage on roads into the city, including fingerposts, looks really tired and needs a good overhaul.

“We are going to present a package of signage which will illustrate the Carlisle brand and it is important that we sell the brand and sell Carlisle.

“But before we can do that we have to work up the package of signage so money has to be released out of the capital programme to do this.

“Once this is agreed, local signmakers will have the opportunity to use local materials to undertake the manufacture of these signs.

“It is the start of a really exciting project, not just in the public realm but for the Carlisle Story group and branding of the city.”

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