RESIDENTS of Kendal are being invited to a pair of public participation events to help forge a new "viable and aspirational" vision for the town.

'Kendal Vision' was officially launched on Friday with a mission to create an “illustrative plan” which will encourage investment to bring the ideas of its townspeople to fruition.

Mark Cropper is on the board of Kendal Futures, the public/private sector partnership leading the Vision project, and he called on residents and those who have " a relationship with the town” – this could be, for example, through work – to attend the two public participation events next month.

The project is being delivered by landscape architects Farrer Huxley and master-planning firm JTP, and has been backed by £50,000 worth of investment from Kendal’s major employers and strategic landowners along with a contribution from South Lakeland District Council.

Charles Campion, head of the community planning team at master-planning firm JTP, said his company would bring the public's ideas "into something which we think is a viable yet aspirational vision for the town.”

Mr Cropper said: “The more people that come to these events, the greater the likelihood that we will get public and private investment in the town.

“The more demand you can demonstrate for something, the more likely you are to get an answer, to get money.”

He added: “Communities are fighting for a small pot of money, so our community voice needs to be as strong as we can make it.”

The event at Kendal Town Hall last Friday was attended by stakeholders and various other people with an interest in the town.

Brian Harrison, chair of Kendal BID, was positive about the project, seeing it as having fixed objectives rather than just as a "wish list".

However, Kendal Town Councillor Chris Rowley drew a distinction between the creation of the Vision and plans for a citizens’ jury on climate change in Kendal.

The jury would have involved a small group of members of the public coming together – overseen at various stages by selected experts – to come up with ways to reduce the town’s carbon footprint, which Mr Rowley saw as a more “deliberative” process than the Vision. It was about halfway to its £20,000 funding target.

Cllr Rowley said: “Basically we are not going to get the jury now because this process has sucked out 40 or £50,000 from local businesses.”

At a Kendal Town Council meeting earlier this month, he had stressed the need to tackle climate change in the town, saying: "We have been left behind already by Leeds and by Lancaster, who voted for climate emergency after us - and we still haven't got the full funding we need to run a climate jury in Kendal."

The community participation events are on Friday, October 4 from 1.45pm-5.30pm and Saturday, October 5 from 11am-4pm at The Shakespeare Centre on Highgate. There is no need to pre-book and people can drop in and leave at any time.