To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy & Infrastructure (copy enclosed)
Not for publication by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as this report contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Authority holding that information).
Members had before them a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure which informed them that Carlisle Station Gateway project was a strategic regeneration project to revitalise Carlisle Station and to improve the gateway to the City Centre. The aim of the project was to improve access and connectivity to Carlisle and the wider Borderlands region as well as contribute to decarbonisation by encouraging more journeys to be taken by rail.
The Heads of Terms for the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal (July 2019) confirmed in principle support for the project with £15m allocated, subject to a satisfactory Outline Business Case (OBC). The final draft OBC was submitted to Government in July 2020. Subsequent financial modelling work was undertaken to reflect scheme cost increases and the impact of COVID-19 on anticipated rail demand and car park revenue. This resulted in a revised proposal for an additional £5m of Borderlands funding which was currently being considered by Government.
The ‘Maple’ site to the south of Carlisle Station formed part of the site necessary for delivery of the preferred scheme in the OBC. Heads of Terms had been agreed with the owner of the ‘Maple’ site for purchase of the site, conditional upon the Council completing this strategic acquisition in early November 2020. As Borderlands funding may not be confirmed by this date, it was proposed that the Council utilised the Strategic Acquisition and Investment Fund and a short-term re-allocation of other capital budgets to facilitate this purchase.
Submission of the OBC to Government provided the opportunity to secure funding to deliver transformational improvements to Carlisle Station which would benefit Carlisle and the wider Borderlands region. The key benefits to be realised from this project were:
· Carlisle would be easier to access by rail and would increase the regional role of the station through intercepting end-to-end car trips, turning them into mostly rail journeys, and in turn benefitting the environment.
· Passenger growth would be supported and encouraged through creating a better offer at the station, more car parking and more accessible platforms, and encouraging more visitors. The forecast increase of passenger numbers as a result of this scheme is from 2.44m (in 2018/19) to 2.71m by 2039.
· Carlisle was an excellent location for HS2 to stop at in the future and this scheme not only future-proofed for it but created the conditions to encourage use of the HS2 stop at Carlisle.
· Improvements to the public realm would encourage and benefit sustainable travel and accessibility – particularly active travel by cycling and walking
· Increased parking provision for customers (including electric charge points and disabled bays) and enhanced pedestrian access and cycle facilities in and around the Station.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet
(1) Authorises the Executive Director for Economy and Infrastructure, in consultation with the Leader, Deputy Leader, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Property, S151 Officer and Monitoring Officer to finalise the terms of the purchase of the ‘Maple site’ for the price agreed in the Heads of Terms dated 2nd March 2020, in advance of the receipt of funding from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
(2) Recommends to Full Council the temporary re-profiling and virement of Capital Programme budgets to facilitate the purchase of the ‘Maple site’ in November 2020, in advance of the receipt of funding from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.