5,000 jobs at Carlisle's Kingmoor Park
CARLISLE’S Kingmoor Park is poised for a dramatic new development, creating a business “village” capable of supporting 5,000 workers.
The news of an October start on the long-awaited Carlisle Northern Development Route (CNDR) will trigger a new spate of development at Kingmoor, which will include cafés, restaurants, local shops, and a four-star hotel.
The site’s owners spoke this week of their vision of Kingmoor Park as one of the best industrial estates in the north west, which could support more than 5,000 jobs. The new “Hub Development” aims to ensure that the workers based on the huge 400-acre site will have places to eat, shop, and socialise.
There are currently about 1,500 employees at Kingmoor Park, but only a scattering of facilities.
The centrepiece of the Hub development – itself at the heart of the Kingmoor Park site – will be a 130-bed four-star hotel, with a conference suite and fitness centre. There will also be a bus terminus, a fuel-filling station, bars and a mini shopping arcade.
The site’s owners insist the scheme will pose no threat to Carlisle city centre but will provide essential facilities for the rapidly expanding workforce.
Planners first approved the Hub in 2006 but the scheme was conditional on the building of the CNDR, which will make Kingmoor Park more attractive to businesses.
Tony Goddard, chief executive of Kingmoor Park Properties Ltd, said the latest scheme would transform the industrial estate into attractive workplace where people can work, shop and unwind.
He said: “The Hub will result in a sizeable community of visitors and occupants needing their own services and we are looking to provide a full range so that people can shop, fill their car up, grab a sandwich, have their hair done, enjoy a coffee or sit down for a formal business lunch or dinner.
“This in turn will encourage more economic activity that the next phase of our development plans will sweep up.We have 1,500 people on the site at the moment but there is nowhere to go for your lunch other than a few sandwich bars. The hub will create a focal point for the people who work here or come to visit.”
Mr Goddard said his company was currently in talks with major supermarkets about the possibility of having smaller scale shop units. He would also like to see coffee shops such as Costa and Starbucks on the site, as well as a doctor’s surgery, a pharmacy and a creche.
Workers will be able to unwind in cafés or with a picnic near any one of several ornamental ponds at the site.
Mr Goddard said: “We’re not looking to compete with Carlisle city centre – there won’t be a Marks and Spencer or a Debenhams, or a 100,000 sq ft Tesco.
“I’ve always been in favour of people not staying in the office during lunch breaks and all we want to do is provide the necessary facilities people need to live and work here.”
The Hub itself will be next to one of the CNDR’s main roundabouts, on a site spanning 20 acres. The building of the facilities is likely to provide up to 100 construction jobs, while thereafter there are likely to be jobs for up to 300 people.
Mr Goddard said the Hub is the third major phase of development and will be a key element of its growth. He added: “I believe this phase could well accelerate the development of Kingmoor Park, making it more attractive for businesses.
“Most of the space here is used for warehousing, but there is a wide range of business types and sizes, which now have good and improving connections to the major roads network and the motorway and a direct rail link. If you want to grow you have to have the right facilities for the people here.
“We want to create a business village, with everything people need to live and work here, while accepting that if you want to buy a suit or a trolley full of shopping, you’ll have to go into town.”