A £2.3 million regeneration plan for Maryport will be launched at a breakfast meeting in the town next week.

Businesses, promotional groups and organisations have been invited to the Wave Centre on Thursday morning to hear the full plans which are likely to include an upgrade of Curzon Street and developments on the on the harbour which would also attract people over the harbour bridge and into the town.

The plan has been drawn up by consultants Arup.

Allerdale council, who, with the British Energy Coast, is driving the project, has now adopted the final version.

The council has said from the start that it would not be able to fund all projects on its own and would require external funding.

Since May, when the draft report was published, the council has applied for a total of £913,000 from external funders to develop cycle paths and facilities and to build retail pods on the harbour.

Portfolio holder Mark Fryer said the applications, from Allerdale and the Coastal Communities group, have passed the first phase but there was more work to do before they would know if any application was approved.

Mark Vollers, who owns the largest harbourside business, the Lake District Coastal Aquarium, expressed some concern about the plans: "Overall I am positive about the general ideas and support anything that would give the town sustainable regeneration.

"But if we are going to bring all these extra people into town we have to have the basics here - and the first are toilet facilities and affordable parking."

The planned retail pods would likely be in the car park opposite the aquarium on South Quay.

"So you will reduce parking and increase visitors."

He said the council could not expect to rely on local businesses, pubs and clubs to meet the cost of running what would amount to public toilets if there were no others available.

Sailors Return publican Moree Weir said she welcomed anything that would regenerate the town "because we really in the doldrums."

She added: "We have been promised huge regeneration plans before and they have never amounted to anything.

"If this is something that will help the town on both sides of the harbour bridge I would definitely support it."

Maryporters chairwoman echoed the sentiments of both: "I have quite a good feeling about this. A project leader has been employed and there seems to be a determination to do something for the town.

"But I agree that we have to address issues. Certainly, if we are going to be a tourist town we need toilets and parking,"

An Allerdale spokesman said the launch on Thursday was by invitation only but the council would be consulting with the community at large about the proposals.

More information on the rengeration plan can be found on the council’s website: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/invest/maryport-regeneration-scheme/ “