As we await the new university campus in Carlisle’s Citadel area, the city is gradually preparing for the influx of new students with diverse needs.

The city has recently seen a new bar open on Botchergate – Ballers – a bar of the same name and theme of which was a popular and successful bar in Preston city-centre, a known student city catering to those that study in the nearby University of Central Lancashire.

Those using Just Eat recently may have noticed a few new additions, in the form of K-Box and Chik-Box, both doing trendy foods like Korean fried chicken that are preferred generally by younger people.

Budget shops favoured by students like Lidl and Home Bargains have set up new shops on the outskirts of the city-centre recently, and the city has welcomed and continues to welcome more different coffee shops and restaurants.

Speaking on what the University of Cumbria currently and will aim to further offer after the development is scheduled to complete in 2026, Signy Henderson, dean for student success, said: “The new Citadel campus development in Carlisle will be transformational bringing vibrancy and economic development for the city when it opens.

“In the meantime, Carlisle is brimming with culture and has a dynamic student scene.

“Meeting students’ needs means listening carefully to their feedback; we have increased the range of vegan, halal and allergy-friendly options offered in campus eateries; and we make sure that water fountains and microwaves are available so students can control costs and make environment-friendly choices.

“UCSU also has a number of student-led societies and networks to cater for all groups including black and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+, Christian and Islamic societies and meet ups for mature students.”

For tomorrow’s students, though, it seems the city needs improvement.

Speaking to some sixth form graduates told a story that what students really want is some more shops and vibrancy.

“The increasingly dead high street might be a problem, I’ve only been here five years and seen the place get emptier and emptier,” said Mhairi Black, an 18-year-old going to university.

“I’d want to see more variety in shops, I prefer independent shops because they’re better value for money,” she added.

Charlie Beattie, who was collecting his A Level results while speaking to News and Star, said he’s looking forward to getting out of Carlisle.

“Carlisle’s just getting deader and deader, all the shops are leaving, I don’t go town anymore, there’s nothing there more me,” he said.

He added that he goes to other cities like Manchester or Newcastle to shop, that’s the attraction itself.

“The city centre needs to be cleaned up and made more accessible.

“There’s a bus that comes round my house once every half and hour and only till 5pm so I can’t use that when I want to go out in the night, and during the day it just looks dead and dirty.”

But not everyone is concerned with the nightlife, as Emily Watling, who is going to university, said she likes that Carlisle’s main drinking spots are in one place.

“It’s quite good it’s more secluded and the party part of Carlisle is in one stretch, I know when I’ve been on a night out, I don’t feel stressed out, and the police are always there when you need them,” she said.

“There’s not a lot of shops for young people,” said her friend Ashley Graham.

“A lot of them do feel more towards the older market, whereas if you go to Newcastle there’s loads, bring H&M back,” she concluded.

There are three years to go in the meantime, so time will tell to see if Carlisle can handle the needs of these new out-of-towners.