St Cuthbert’s Garden Village Greenway Landscape Competition – winner announced

The winner of a competition to design a new Greenway and park to form the centerpiece of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village communities in the south of Carlisle, Cumbria has been announced.

Gillespies, The Greenway Ribbon is the winner of the Start with the Park: St Cuthbert’s Garden Village Competition.

A public exhibition showcasing three shortlisted designs was held last year.  These early design ideas were then developed further and the eventual winner was chosen by a judging panel made up of Carlisle City Council, the Landscape Institute, United Utilities and a broad range of community representatives

The judges’ comments included:

“A really comprehensive, professional and well considered proposal demonstrating a clear understanding of the context and brief.”

“Showed a good understanding of the area and site.”

“The Greenway Ribbon is an innovative and professional approach to a landscape based placemaking project. The theme of ‘Start with a Park’ is very apparent throughout the design and does an excellent job of re-wilding an area of good agricultural land.”

Carlisle City Council, in partnership with the Landscape Institute, launched the two-stage design competition in 2021 and received 13 professional entries. Three finalists were selected:

  • The Greenway Ribbon – Gillespies.
  • St Cuthbert’s Monastic Gardens – AFL Architects.
  • The Weave – BMD and JTP.

St Cuthbert’s Garden Village is one of the largest projects of its kind nationally and the largest in the north of England. The scale and location of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village (SCGV) provides a genuine opportunity to make a difference – in a well-planned and coherent way.

‘Start with the Park’ – to be based near Durdar and Blackwell – is an opportunity to create a resource that could be a visitor destination attraction in its own right and will benefit the existing and future residents of Carlisle. By establishing the ‘Greenway’ at the outset of SCGV, a greenspace will be created at the heart of the community and will be a unique selling point. It will also connect the proposed new communities with each other, with existing villages in the area, with the city, and with the surrounding countryside.

The Greenway also provides an opportunity to look at new ways of delivering cycling and walking infrastructure in Carlisle to encourage recreational and active travel. A key element of this will be ensuring that this connectivity is both within and beyond the garden village – in particular ensuring active/sustainable transport connectivity to the city centre and the transformational regeneration projects within the southern gateway area such as the railway station improvements, new university campus and business space at the Citadels and Caldew Riverside.

Carlisle City Council partnered with The Landscape Institute, and United Utilities as main sponsors, to deliver the competition, which launched on Monday 12 July 2021. The competition was open to both professionals and students across a range of disciplines.

The professional competition followed a two-stage process. Each of the three entrants selected to progress to stage 2 of the competition were awarded an honorarium of £5,000. The overall winner of stage 2 will receive £10,000. It is the intention to award a contract for the delivery of the winning scheme. However, whilst landowner negotiations are well underway with positive conversations taking place, should these not be concluded at the time of the competition outcome, there will be a delay to the award of contract.

The Greenway, ‘Start with a Park’ project is identified in the Carlisle Town Deal Investment Plan, alongside six other schemes. Carlisle submitted the Investment Plan to government in October 2020 and received a Heads of Terms offer for £19.7 million of investment for the city in March 2021.

Notes to Editors:

Towns Fund – Town Deals

On 27 July 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth. See further details of the announcement.

A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision.

Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19. View a list of accelerated funding by place (PDF, 266 KB, 11 pages).

St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, Carlisle

  • The adopted Carlisle District Local Plan 2015 – 2030 identified Carlisle South as a broad location for growth of a major mixed-use development, providing up to 10,000 new homes, to the south of the city.
  • Now known as St Cuthbert’s, it secured Garden Village status in January 2017 and is the largest of the Garden Villages in the north. With funding from Homes England, the planned completion of the Carlisle Southern Link Road in 2024 will be critical to unlocking St Cuthbert’s full potential.
  • Carlisle City Council has worked extensively with local communities, key stakeholders and the extensive range of private landowners for over three years to develop and finalise the Masterplanning Framework (October 2020) and in April 2021, they adopted the Strategic Design Supplementary Planning Document. In part, this will guide early applications ahead of the Local Plan’s adoption. Preparation of a separate Local Plan to guide the first development phase is now underway.
  • St Cuthbert’s will meet the need for sustainable housing growth over the next 30 years, making Carlisle the place of choice for those wishing to feel the benefits of living in the countryside with the convenience, connectivity and opportunities of a major city.
  • Carlisle City Council wants to ensure that Carlisle grows in a way that creates quality homes and is properly planned across the coming decades. Therefore, the ambition is that St Cuthbert’s will be a very high-quality new settlement, delivering a significant number of new homes and job opportunities, all within a superb landscape and environment that will transform Carlisle. As a World Health Organisation ‘Healthy City’, they intend to deliver a garden village that Starts with the Park’ where the delivery and long term stewardship of the green and blue infrastructure will encourage a new healthier way of living, enhancing the health and well-being of both future residents of St Cuthbert’s and the existing population of Carlisle.

Landscape Institute

The Landscape Institute (LI) is the chartered body for the landscape profession. It is an educational charity that promotes the art and science of landscape practice. The LI provides a professional home for all landscape practitioners including landscape scientists, landscape planners, landscape architects, landscape managers and urban designers. The Landscape Institute supports their members through advocacy programmes, events and numerous networking activities, many of which are organised through their branches across the UK.

United Utilities

United Utilities is responsible for water and wastewater services in the North West of England, and as part of this service, delivers 1.8 billion litres of water to more than 3 million homes and businesses. Their purpose is to provide great water and more for the North West; driving them to deliver their services in an environmentally-sustainable, economically beneficial and socially responsible manner. Providing more means creating value for our stakeholders and understanding what matters to them through strong and constructive relationships.

Further information: Sarah Irving, Communications – 01228 817150