Cumbrian teenagers are helping to shape the future of the landmark Citadels area in Carlisle
in online project collaborations with local organisations and businesses organised by the
Centre for Leadership Performance.
The ProjX Carlisle Citadel work awareness programme is funded by Story Contracting and
the City Council. Students from Richard Rose Morton Academy and William Howard School
formed teams to develop ideas which were presented to their ‘clients’ – Carlisle City Council,
Town Deal Board and the University of Cumbria.
A range of ideas emerged including creating a concert area, a café, pop-up restaurants and
shops , a market, garden/green space communal area, a water feature, and a gallery and
exhibition for local artists.
It was the culmination of a week working together online with the help of local businesses,
including Carlisle Brass, Cumbria Waste Group and Baines Wilson, with coaching and
mentoring from CforLP.
Carlisle is set to receive £19.7 million to support the regeneration plans, and the ProjX work
awareness programme aims to engage and empower young people across the city and
surrounding areas, offering them the opportunity to visualise their future town.
The teams are encouraged to demonstrate leadership in their approach to the task, focusing
on the public/community area within the new University development, and current and
potential use of the buildings on English Street.
Through their work with local businesses students gain an insight into the roles and
disciplines needed to deliver against any professional project. They develop transferable
skills including teamwork, communication and problem solving, while using online platforms
relevant to the modern workplace.
The teenagers were tasked with creating schemes that would appeal to locals and tourists,
benefit the local community, and engage young people. They had strict budgets and had to
build future sustainability into their plans, while taking into account legal requirements,
environmental impact and health & safety, including Covid-19 legacies. Marketing of the
redeveloped area was another important aspect – including rent levels and how to attract
businesses while also engaging the community.
High points for the young people involved included:
‘Meeting local businesses and talking through new jobs that we didn’t know about before’,
‘…learning about good communication and leadership’.
Grade I listed Citadels are a key heritage asset for Carlisle and bringing them back into full
use will help create a gateway to the city centre around this area. The aim is to redevelop
the Citadels site for multiple uses including a university headquarters, with complementary
leisure and cultural elements to increase vitality in the city centre. The proposed
improvements form part of the second stage of the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal’s
Carlisle Station Gateway and Citadels project.
Year 10 & 11 pupils in West Cumbrian schools have benefited from various ProjX
programmes over the past two years, with delivery adapted to reflect safe COVID-19