‘Your Community’ programme

Teenagers in Carlisle have produced plans for revitalising the Market Hall in Carlisle city centre with exciting ideas ranging from a chill-out zone for teenagers, video games arena and offering drop-in childcare, to pop-up craft shops and demonstrations, a food court and live music venue.

The ideas emerged through the “Your Community” programme delivered by the Centre for Leadership Performance in partnership with Hello Future and a range of local business partners including Baines Wilson, Carlisle Brass, Story Contracting and Carlisle City Council. The programme funded by Hello Future helps learners to develop skills and confidence, and introduces them to a range of positive role models.

The pilot programme aimed to help to create a vision for the Market Hall as part of the regeneration of the city centre.  It  invited young people aged 13-18 from the across the county to work on the exciting 6-week community project developing ideas, and getting them heard by decision-makers. 

The programme connected with young people through Friday evening video conferencing sessions which enabled them to meet and work online with a wide range of employers and professionals, despite being in lockdown

Sessions covered project management, innovating/brainstorming, town planning, building design, infrastructure planning, accounting & finance, quality and health & safety, and marketing & communications.

The young people worked in two groups on the project with input from local employers who shared their own career journeys and talked about their jobs and the skills they needed. CfLP tailored each session to the group’s needs with a focus on confidence, leadership and skills development and mentors from CfLP mentors and the Hello Future team provided support throughout the programme.

The teenagers shared their ideas for the Market Hall with businesses and a representative from Carlisle City Council at an online presentation.  Ideas included using the market hall as a live music venue in the evenings, a ‘chill-out’ zone with mood lighting and comfortable seating, creating an area for playing modern and vintage video games, introducing art and craft displays and classes, offering drop-in child-care,  accommodating more pop-up shops and encouraging new food outlets serving a food court.

‘Your Community’ is designed to provide opportunities for young people to work together alongside local business mentors and gain an insight into the range of careers, roles and skills needed to deliver against any professional project.

The young people taking part explored different interests, developing transferable skills including communication, problem solving, leadership & teamwork as well as gaining experience in the use of online platforms which have become more relevant to the modern way of working.