The government has announced plans to invest more than £13 million into projects to transform Kendal town centre.

The town is set to benefit from £13.477 million through the third round of the government’s levelling up fund which will go towards the ‘Heart of Kendal’ project in what has been described as ‘tremendously exciting’ plans.

The funding will allow the council to carry out a range of projects including the regeneration of Kendal’s Market Hall, the renewal of Market Place and Kent Street as well as repurposing the Westmorland Shopping Centre to provide new education accommodation, creating a third campus for Kendal College.

Other projects also include transforming the riverside path between Lowther Street and Abbot Hall into an active travel route connecting the River Kent to the town centre.

Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council, councillor Jonathan Brook (Kendal South, Lib Dems), said: “We are delighted that our Heart of Kendal submission has been accepted and will be supported through round three of the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

“A great deal of work has been put into the bid by Kendal Town Team partners. It is tremendously exciting to have that work pay off. We will now work to turn these ambitions for Kendal into a reality.

“These projects will make a real difference to the people of Kendal and all who come to the town. They will embrace the unique setting of our town, and use our built heritage and culture to enhance the town centre, to make it more attractive and accessible for living, working, culture and leisure.”

A bid was submitted by Kendal Town Team in 2022 which was unsuccessful but the government informed the council that for round three it has drawn on the impressive pool of round two bids which they were not able to fund but were assessed as high-quality and ready-to-deliver.

The council say as some time has passed since the initial project proposals were developed, it will now engage on a process with government and key stakeholders to review and refine the scope of works to ensure they remain impactful and deliverable.

Cllr Brook added: “This Levelling Up funding in itself will allow us to do great things for Kendal but it also builds on and strengthens existing projects already under way, such as the Kendal Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), the recently-completed Gooseholme Bridge replacement, the Environment Agency-led Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme, which includes opportunities to improve the riverside corridor for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists, and projects funded through the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, including public realm improvements scheme on Stramongate.”

The government have announced £1 billion in funding for 55 projects across the country with the North West set to receive £128 million.

Levelling up Secretary Michael Gove said: “This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving more money and power out of Westminster to towns and cities, putting in place bespoke interventions to places that need it most, and our Long-Term Plan for Towns.”