Carlisle deal is £134m boost for bypass, 10,000 homes

Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet agreed on Friday a new funding agreement with Homes England to deliver the new Carlisle Southern Link Road.

The funding deal is crucial to initiatives including the St.Cuthberts Garden Village, a scheme led by Carlisle City Council that will deliver 10,000 new homes.

“The funding agreement is a major milestone and is worth in excess of £134 million and secures the final funding arrangement required to secure the delivery of the new Carlisle Southern Link Road,” said Cumbria County Council.

“The road will play a vital role in supporting the economic recovery of Carlisle and Cumbria following COVID-19 and it is key to the successful delivery of growth projects and initiatives such as the St.Cuthberts Garden Village, a scheme led by Carlisle City Council that will deliver 10,000 new homes and employment opportunities within Carlisle, bringing significant benefits to the city and the wider county.

“The delivery of the new road will also improve east – west connectivity to the south of the city, in particular improving road connections to West Cumbria. 

“The signing of this new funding agreement is the most important milestone so far, in delivering the Carlisle Southern Link Road as it formally secures the final allocation of the funding required.

“Now that the County Council cabinet has agreed to enter the funding agreement, the agreement will be signed before the end of the month as a ‘tripartite’ agreement between Homes England (on behalf of MHCLG), Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council.”

As part of the agreement, the county council would be responsible for building the road.

The separate funding agreements means both Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council will both contribute £5m towards the project, which they hope to recoup during the development.  

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways, said: “The decision from Cabinet was unanimous and shows the total commitment from the Council to building this road and to improving our highways infrastructure in the county.

“This road is vital to not only the garden village project but to the wider economic benefits it brings to our county.” 

Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: 
“We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure. 

“Our multimillion-pound funding will unlock critical housing sites that will form St Cuthbert’s Garden Village and allow Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council to deliver their vision for new homes. 

“Homes England is the government’s housing accelerator.

“They have the appetite, influence, expertise and resources to drive positive market change.

“By releasing more land to developers who want to make a difference and using their investment products to drive market change they’re making possible the new homes England needs, helping to improve neighbourhoods and grow communities.” 

It is anticipated that construction work will commence on site in 2022 and will be completed in 2024.