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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

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Should the gazebo go and town loos be demolished?

NOW is the time to have your say on a range of options and proposals for the Market Place in Whitehaven – which include ditching the Gazebo and demolishing the toilet block at the James Street end.

future unknown: The gazebo in Whitehaven Market place

The area, due to benefit from a major five-year revamp, thanks to lottery funding under a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), will be under the spotlight during two public drop-in sessions in which people are invited to express their views and ideas.

The sessions will be held in Whitehaven Market Hall on Thursday, February 28, and Saturday, March 1, between 11am and 3pm. Copeland residents will be asked what they would like to see in the public areas of the Market Place.

As part of a wider bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the council is drawing up potential projects, including:

extending the pedestrian area in front of the Market Hall (currently the Tourist Information Centre)

reinstating a lamp post where there is currently a gazebo

redeveloping the James Street area, including options for the toilet block, if removed, and linking the area to the new Albion Square development, and

removing unnecessary signs and making good some paving with ‘heritage’ materials.

The areas included in the Heritage Lottery bid are Market Place, James Street, Lower Swingpump Lane and part of Irish Street (including the YMCA). There will be funding available as grants over the next five years, to help businesses to repair their buildings and create attractive frontages.

The scheme will be jointly funded by Copeland Borough Council, Cumbria County Council, Britain’s Energy Coast and the Heritage Lottery Fund (which has earmarked £650,000 for the scheme). It will allow owners of historic commercial buildings to improve them, either through repairing existing traditional features or putting back historic architectural details.

If the bid is successful the THI will be able to allocate up to £100,000 for other work on public areas. It is hoped the scheme will bring significant economic benefit as well as enhancing the character of one of Whitehaven’s oldest areas.

Coun Phil Greatorex, portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “This is the point at which people can really start to get involved in this project and tell us what they like and don’t like.

“We have put together some suggestions for the Market Place and James Street, and we want to know what people think of them. But we also want people’s ideas for what would and wouldn’t work, and how they think the area should look and feel.

“These drop-in sessions, which are being held on market days, are a great opportunity to find out more and influence how this part of town could work in the future.”

Passing Stage I of the THI application means that money has been set aside by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the scheme but competition is tough and it does not guarantee a successful bid, though it is an indication of positive support. The development of the Stage II bid for THI funding is progressing well.

A THI encourages partnerships of local organisations to carry out repairs and other works to historic buildings, structures or spaces. To date over £200million has been spent in this way, regenerating towns that have suffered from social and economic decline.

Have your say

Come on Copeland you total utter no-brainers, TOILETS are needed in town centres. Shops don't have toilets for public use and cafes customer toilets are for customers only. That leaves us with pubs (again for customers only) and St Nicks, Dixons and . . . . duh,,, that's about your lot mate. Go back home and pee.

Stupid, stupid decisions as ever.

Posted by R Harris on 12 March 2013 at 14:39

I totally agree with these comments above!what is the point in taking the band stand down it is a focal point and to replace with a lamp post is just stupid leave it be.Also i have a young daughter and visit the public toilets every visit to whitehaven..what will we do if they go...pee her self!!! PLEASE.

Posted by lindsay on 6 March 2013 at 06:11

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