A COMMITTEE has added its support to a bid for government funding to ‘regenerate’ Kendal.

Members of Cumbria County Council’s South Lakeland Committee agreed to support, in principle, South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC) proposed Levelling Up Fund application, which is due to be submitted early next month.

Since May 2021 SLDC, in partnership with Cumbria County Council, is currently developing an application for the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, which will focus on the regeneration of the town centre and its ‘high street offer’, including improvements to the outdoor market and the delivery of ‘active travel improvements’ along the River Kent.

The application centres around two project elements, the first being the regeneration of the town centre which would comprise the creation of new student accommodation and work-space at the Westmorland Shopping Centre, as well as the regeneration of the Market Hall and Market Place.

The second, is the enhancement of the riverside corridor, which would include upgrades to a section of the riverside active travel route between Lowther Street and Abbot Hall and would seek to improve connectivity to the town centre.

Although funding is to be allocated following a competitive process across the UK, places have been prioritised for funding by the Government following a ‘qualitative assessment process’.

South Lakeland has been identified as category three, which means the application for the fund would need to be ‘exceptional’ if it is to succeed.

Read more: Ambitious proposal being devised to access funds for town's regeneration

During the meeting, on June 10, members discussed the potential increase in footfall in the town centre due to the student accommodation and how this would draw more retailers to the market hall.

Members were also given assurances that the effort to improve the offer would also attempt to restore the presence of local produce.

And members said that in the ‘unfortunate’ circumstance that the bid was unsuccessful, the future Westmorland and Furness Authority would need to “recognise the importance of renovating Kendal Market Hall”.