WITH more and more hospitality and restaurant developments being earmarked for the city, it's evidence that Carlisle's night-time economy is growing fast. 

Last year, developers announced plans to bring STACK to the city, a multi-million pound investment for the creation of 50 repurposed shipping containers home to five bars and around 10 street food outlets. 

This week alone, plans were submitted with intentions of opening up a new Turkish restaurant in a vacant retail space on the city's Lowther Street. 

Local restaurateur Richard Shannan, of Carlisle's beloved Casa Romana which has been on the scene for over 30 years, said he's 'noticing more and more restaurants popping up'. 

"The biggest change is the fact is that it's more pub-style/bistro bars now opening up. Since they changed the licencing laws in the early 2000s, we've noticed people doing a lot more food - it's created a bit of competition. 

"What we've noticed over 30 years in business is that people tend to go to a lot more trendy city bars. They've got menus that don't tie people down to choosing one type of food and that appeals to younger groups. 

"We know our market, it's never a threat - just more competition. 

"Everyone's fighting for a piece of the pie and whilst there is a boom on, we haven't noticed any kickback since the cost-of-living crisis," he said. 

READ MORE: MP says city's development is heading in the right direction

Through developments such as the university expansion, investments into the garden village and the redevelopment of the railway station, it cements the notion that demand for the city to grow is already here

Suzanne Caldwell, managing director of Cumbria's Chamber of Commerce said 'the city is headed in the right direction'.

"As a city, Carlisle certainly seems to be heading in the right direction as regards its night-time economy and this is something we hope to see continuing to build. 

"Developments like those coming through from the University and recent city centre living developments will both support and need this. So we also hope to see more residential developments in the city centre, which will be great for both the night-time economy and retail offer," she said. 

Ms Caldwell said however, there is a caveat to a growing night-time economy. 

"The fly in the ointment of course is staffing, which continues to be a significant issue for the hospitality sector and others, although being in the city does offer a wider pool than many other areas of the county," she said.

Speaking recently, MP for Carlisle John Stevenson said the city's development is headed in the right direction - highlighting in particular funding being earmarked to rejuvenate the city's high street. 

Plans for the ‘Reimagining the Greenmarket/Market Square’ project, for example, is one of the methods being implemented to increase the city's high-street offering.

"In terms of the high street itself, I think Carlisle is better placed than many, although I accept there are a number of empty shops.

"Our city centre has high street funding which will hopefully improve the condition of our city centre, making it as attractive as possible, which I believe it is an attractive city." 

Moves towards a redevelopment of the Citadel buildings to create a new University of Cumbria campus with £50million in funding from the Borderland Inclusive Growth Deal is a sign the city is adapting, the MP said. 

"Over the 12 years, Carlisle has changed quite significantly but in a positive way. 

"We've seen further potential coming down with the university expanding, investments into the garden village, the redevelopment of the railway station and the continued growth of house building that has gone on in various parts of the city which demonstrates builders want to build, so the demand is there.

"It's not just about the city centre, it's about where the city is heading in the future - the vision for the future.

"When I got elected back in 2010, one of the first questions I answered was that I wanted to see Carlisle grow.

"To a certain extent, I still retain that ambition because I think being slightly larger helps services such as hospitals.

"But, I think we've gone beyond that now, I think Carlisle needs to see itself as the region's capital. 

"Borderlands was a key initiative that opened up that thinking that actually we are a region and at the centre is Carlisle, both in Cumbria and across the Scottish border.

"I think that's a real positive for the city," he said. 

Previously the MP asked the Under Secretary of State for Scotland if the Borderlands region could benefit from a similar landmark economic investment in the future.

Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism said: "The city is known for its access to a wealth of arts, culture, creative activities, retail, and attractions that many places can only dream of, making it a vibrant place for people to live, work, visit and study.

"The opening of new venues will only add to the attractiveness of Carlisle as a destination," she said.