We recently completed the West Cumbria Retail, Town Centre and Leisure Study. The Study forms a robust evidence base document to support the retail and town centre strategies contained within new development plans for the authorities of Allerdale and Copeland.

The Study Area spans almost 50 miles along the West Cumbrian Coast and the aim of the Study is to identify how the town centres within both Allerdale and Copeland are currently functioning, recognising the changing role and function of town centres.

Our Solutions

Part of the market research for this commission included undertaking healthchecks for 10 town centres across West Cumbria, including the principal town centres of Workington and Whitehaven. We also utilised our GIS capabilities to report spatial findings in respect of the distribution of retail and leisure provision, and the opportunities which existing to provide improvements to meet the needs of the local population.

In addition to both household and ‘in street’ surveys, the team undertook a Stakeholder Workshop to engage with local key stakeholders in order to gather a more holistic understanding of the issues and concerns affecting local residents and businesses. This is a stage that Nexus Planning particularly recommends as, whilst some such discussions may not be able to be directly referenced in the Study, we believe that such conversations are extremely helpful in ensuring that the findings of any quantitative capacity are viewed in the context of what is happening ‘on the ground’.

The Outcome

Our recommendations also helped shape Allerdale Council’s approach to the Future High Streets Fund bid for Maryport, and the Towns Fund bid for Workington.