Maryport Regeneration Newsletter December 2021

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Maryport regeneration
Maryport lighthouse

Maryport regeneration bulletin

Welcome to your new email newsletter focussing wholly on the Maryport Regeneration projects.

As many of you will know, Maryport was successful in bidding for around £14m of funds for investment into our great town from the Future High Street Fund (FHS) and Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) pot of money. Much work has been going on behind the scenes with the regeneration teams, groups, and partners along with Maryport community groups and businesses.

We’ve got plenty to update you on, and keep you informed as the projects develop. Therefore, we are delighted keep you up to date with this  all new Maryport Regeneration e-newsletter, which you can receive straight to your inbox! This will be your ‘one-stop shop’ for all things happening within the planned projects in and around Maryport.

This bulletin summarises progress on the Maryport regeneration programmes and  initiatives to date. We hope to produce them regularly to keep you up to date with the latest information.

Read more about the project

The Former Carlton Cinema


Situated on Senhouse Street, this building has been empty for several years. Now within Council ownership, plans have been drawn up which enable a flexible range of uses for this building which will provide a central community hub.

Plans are to demolish the adjoining building, which also belongs to Allerdale Borough Council, to create a sheltered outdoor refreshment and seating area. Potential uses for the building include an entertainment venue and studio / community use space which provides for a variety of purposes.

British Energy Coast (BEC) are now leading on this project. Work to date has seen initial surveys being carried out, detailed architect's plans drawn up, and construction work should commence next year.

Former Empire Theatre

Empire Yard

During consultation with the local community, it was clear there was demand for a market facility within the town centre.

The plan is therefore to develop a flexible market space which could focus on food and beverage, fresh produce, and/or small business startup units. The space may also be suitable to host small entertainment events.

This scheme is due to be completed towards the end of the three year programme. Discussions have already started to take place with some of the business owners along Senhouse Street in order to review current options for this initiative. Meetings are progressing in relation to the assembly of several buildings and vacant land on the Empire Yard site. Negotiations are now taking place with all existing owners regarding future plans for the scheme.  

Public Realm

Enhancement of the public realm was a key priority identified by the Maryport Delivery Plan. Funding is limited to just over £1m, so the plan is to focus on the core high street area of Senhouse Street.

Both the Future High Street and Heritage Action Zone Programmes include improvement to elements of public realm areas such as footpaths, lighting, landscaping and parking surface enhancements. For much of these planned improvements partners at Cumbria County Council will lead this part of the programme and will work closely with BEC, Allerdale Borough Council and others.

The Former Christchurch Building


Situated close to the Waterfront, this listed building has also recently been purchased by Allerdale Borough Council. Plans are for the Maritime Museum to relocate to this building once refurbishment is complete.

We hope to create a mezzanine level which will provide a larger flexible space with a more open feel to display an extensive collection of exhibits and enable them to be displayed more imaginatively. The plan is also to include a cafeteria alongside the museum.

More detailed Architects drawings are now being commissioned along with detailed surveys. Mott MacDonald Consultants are now actively engaged in progressing the planning and design work required prior construction work beginning. Various site meetings have taken place at Christchurch and work is underway to produce these detailed plans.

The Wave Leisure Centre

The Wave

We have grand designs for the Wave, with plans being drawn up to provide more comprehensive leisure and sports facilities. The improved facilities will provide a leisure pool as well as an e-bike hire and charging centre to add to the existing gym facilities.

Mott MacDonald Consultants are now working these initial plans and designs up ahead of the construction phase. 

The HAZ Programme

The HAZ programme is funded by Historic England, Allerdale Borough Council, Sellafield Ltd and property owners, and aims to use Maryport’s unique and attractive built heritage as a catalyst to encouraging a more diverse range of activities, and greater footfall to the ‘high street’, which is focused around Senhouse Street.

Maryport Town Hall


Maryport Town Hall

The Town Hall will be repaired and improved to make it more attractive, welcoming and adaptable for additional users, to create a new model of Customer Service centre, which will provide hot-desking and meeting room spaces bookable by any organisation.  Work should start on this in January 2022.



Maritime Museum sketch

1 Senhouse Street (existing Maritime Museum building): 

This building will be repaired and refurbished to improve access and update and enable better use of the space. As a result of the Maritime Museum moving into Christchurch, 1 Senhouse Street, will be converted into an art gallery which is expected to house private collections of Percy Kelly, William Mitchel and other artists.  The conversion will commence in mid-2022, but repairs and the re-location of the main front door back to its earlier corner position will happen in early 2022


68 Crosby Street

Heron Foods: The façade of this building will be upgraded to much better reflect its historic character, creating three new shopfronts, reinstating two of the bay windows at first floor and refurbishing the historic dormers at second floor. The wider works involve a whole shop refit.  We hope this work will be carried out in early 2022


68 Crosby Street:

This building will be repaired and re-used as a commercial unit with a residential property above We are also looking at creating access to the upper floors of the former Midland Bank building (50 Senhouse Street) providing an opportunity to convert these into residential and/or visitor accommodation in the future.


Shopfront Grant Scheme

The shopfront grant scheme will replace some of the modern shopfronts that detract from the architectural character of the street, with shopfronts that much better reflect the quality and character of Maryport’s heritage.  A shopfront design guide has been created to guide the proposals and at least three new shopfronts will be created in early 2022, after which a further round of shopfront grant schemes will be sought.

Shopfront design scheme

Cultural Programme & Community Engagement 

Taste Sea Dogs

Cultural Programme  

One of the main differences between this and other funding programmes is that in addition to investing in its buildings, there is a separately funded element which aims to create events and activities. The purpose is to increase footfall and get more people involved in, and appreciating, the opportunities for enjoying the Town Centre and its unique history and heritage as well as its natural beauty. A cultural mapping report has been compiled which provides an audit of current and potential future cultural activity in Maryport and puts this into a wider perspective.  A cultural programme bid for funding of events and activities celebrating Maryport’s heritage, will be submitted to Historic England in 2022.

Community Engagement 

Despite Covid restrictions making community engagement more of a challenge, regular meetings are taking place with a range of Maryport Stakeholders to review and discuss progress on the Maryport Regeneration Programme. In addition to this as plans continue to develop, further information will be made available to the local community in order to gain feedback on elements of the projects and ensure maximum integration between these and any other activities that are happening in Maryport.

One of the Community Engagement projects that is underway is the interviewing of older Maryport residents about their memories of Maryport’s High Street; shops, cafes and other entertainments in the 1930s and 1940s. These memories will be made into a film that will also include some hitherto unseen historic footage and will be a publicly available permanent record of some personal memories and history of the Town Centre. 

Maryport Programme - support and resources


Over £3m funding for the first year of the Maryport Programme has now been received. The governance structure has been revised in order to oversee progress and ensure the programme delivers.

We now have two new Project Managers to help with this. Joanne Spencer and Joe Broomfield have joined the team and both bring a wealth of experience dealing with projects of this nature. They will lead on several of the 12 individual projects which make up the FHS and HAZ Programmes. 

COMM ENg logos


... and finally - We're so proud of you Maryport!

Taste of the Sea

We’d like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to the people of Maryport for all the support for the Taste Cumbria – Taste of The Sea Festival which has been hailed a success!

The evaluation report into Allerdale Borough Council’s Taste of the Sea Festival, held in Maryport on 14–15 August has given the event a big thumbs up. 

The survey found that 65% of those interviewed had made their trip to Maryport specifically for the Taste Festival, and that the event had a wide appeal to many different people, including couples, extended family groups, and groups of friends. Some 60% of people at the event were with their partners, and 36% with other family members. Around 17% were with friends. 

The event attracted both local people and visitors from elsewhere in Cumbria. More than 60% of the people were from the Allerdale area and a quarter were from elsewhere in Cumbria, with one in ten from outside of the county. 

Overall, satisfaction with the event was very high. 93% of visitors rated the event very good or good. When asked to rate individual aspects of the event, ratings were also very positive. Asked if anything would have improved the event in any way, the majority of people gave positive feedback, saying it was great to see the town busy, that they want to see more events, and that it had made them stay longer in town. 

Festival visitors made the most of their day out too, with 71% of those interviewed had been to the hot food court and beer tent on the harbourside, and two thirds had listened to the live music at Shipping Brow. Around 64% had visited the Producers’ Market, and almost half the food market stalls. A fifth had visited the children’s fairground and other family entertainment that was on offer. 

The total economic impact of the 2021 Taste of the Sea event at Maryport is estimated at around half a million pounds to the local economy. Return on investment (ROI) is calculated at £11.11. This means that for each pound invested in the Taste of the Sea Festival, over £11 was generated for the local economy. See more about the Taste of the Sea festival: success.

A big 'thank you' also goes to our supporters for the event: Maryport Town Council, Cumbria County Council, Taste of the Lakes, Grants Oak Smoked, Vici UK and Ireland, and Maryport Round Table.

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