THE vision for a major new leisure and retail complex in the heart of Kendal has become clearer after an application was submitted to create four new shopfront entrances. 

The application for Spinning Jennies, a project to convert the vacant Beales department store on Finkle Street into a mixed-use development, is the latest stage in the ambitious scheme that has been underway since last year.

The Planning Statement for the current proposal says: "The outside of the shop will be cleaned, and use will be made of the large current glazed display walls fronting Finkle Street, with the addition of four further shop entrances to give independent access to shops 43, 45, 51, and 53 Finkle Street with direct access from Finkle Street for independent traders.

The Westmorland Gazette: The proposed new frontageThe proposed new frontage (Image: Spinning Jennies)

"Internal fittings will be upgraded with an open warehouse feeling to the current concrete and steel floors.

"The existing lavatories on the lower ground floor will be upgraded with additional WCs on each trading floor.

"Larger standalone shops may also have their own individual WC areas together with the provision of a tea and coffee station adjacent.

"This will give an increased openness to this area of town.”

The statement also mentions the residential aspect of the development, proposing to convert a disused restaurant into two one and two-bedroom flats for affordable rental, 'with access to independent balcony areas for outside space for the occupants and splendid views over the town, fells, and castle.'

Also proposed is a 'glass atrium' area on the second floor, to complement the use of the food hall currently under construction on the first floor.

The statement concludes: "The applicant has purchased the freehold with vacant possession and after discussions with the Local Planning Authority and Kendal Futures, intends to redevelop the building into a lively, modern, multi-use, mixed-use development with mainly retail units on the ground floor.

"A food hall will be on the first floor and a cafe/restaurant on the lower ground floor.

"Creative spaces will be on the lower ground floor with two flats for affordable private rental in the surplus areas to the south on the first floor."”