Shops shouldn’t stop Carlisle United scheme
Last updated at 12:33, Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Some seem to think Carlisle United’s dreams of a new 12,000-capacity, all-seater stadium at Kingmoor Park are dead in the water.
Now, I’m no expert on matters football – on any sporting matters, in fact – but drowned and out may not necessarily be the case for the Blues.
Doubts seem to centre on a belief that any retail-enabling development at Kingmoor would damage city centre shopping.
And that’s where I can claim benefit of specialist subject.
I do know shopping – and don’t see why retail on the edges of town should damage the centre’s amenities at all. So long as it is different in nature to what we have come to know and expect in the centre of town.
There’s always a lot of talk about ambitions for Carlisle. Has been for as long as anyone can remember. But sadly, so little seems to happen.
Ambitions need to be exactly that – ambitious – if they are to be meaningful. What is in doubt now, is – as ever – the extent of Carlisle’s ambitions.
City centre traders rightly insist they would oppose any directly comparable competition on the outskirts. And so would any serious shopper... ie, one who loves it. But the traders add they’d be comfortable with new, arm’s-length businesses complementing their own.
Kingmoor Park chief executive Tony Goddard is adamant any new retail development, enabling the stadium move, would be complementary to Carlisle’s central experience which, assuming he has businesses already interested, should be an optimistic, even exciting sign for the city – and the football club.
What’s less hopeful is estimation by outside experts that Carlisle could support only another 200,000 sqft of retail space over the next decade. That’s half the size of The Lanes, by the way.
Given the volume of the council’s new city-wide housing plans and Carlisle’s long-held commitment to population growth for future prosperity, that figure sounds depressingly cautious – not at all ambitious.
Is it really too naive or dim to suggest that to turn down any chance of new investment, extra jobs and opportunity to enjoy a totally different shopping experience in addition to what’s on offer in town, would be to shoot off both feet?
If Carlisle is genuinely serious about growth, it has to accept the opera is only yet in its first act. Too many possibilities exist for assumption that the fat lady should sing on this planned development any time soon.
With ambition and belief, most anything is possible. And Carlisle United will know that better than most.
First published at 11:29, Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I am all for more retail development in Kingstown area alongside the new Blues ground if it is not in direct competition with the city centre, but what "other" retail type business is there, that is not already catered for, both in the city and in Kingstown now? With a large new housing estate North of the city, extra housing in the Dalston road area, and Morton, how will all these people get into the city? where will they park? but most importantly, where are all the extra jobs coming from?Public service jobs are being lost all the time, and I do not know of any major private manufacturing jobs being planned for Carlisle.Perhaps county or city councillors can tell us what is coming?
Empty shops in city centre.Shouldn't we be filling these up first?
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