Carlisle City Council, in partnership with the Landscape Institute, is launching a two-stage design competition to select an individual, or a team, to design a new Greenway and Park which will form the centrepiece of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village communities in the south of Carlisle.

St Cuthbert's Garden Village. Images taken of the areas of land close to Durdar for the Landscape Competition: Stuart Walker Photography

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.

Cllr Paul Nedved, Portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing said:

“Emerging from the post pandemic world, St Cuthbert’s provides a unique opportunity to rethink how we want to live and redefine the garden village concept for the 21st century. Following the unique ‘Start with the Park’ approach, we hope to lead the way and are looking for creative designers to work with us on the delivery of innovation in green infrastructure and landscape led masterplanning.”

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

The professional competition will follow a two-stage process. Each of the three entrants selected to progress to stage 2 of the competition will be 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 student competition will be single stage. The focus of the student competition will be around the question: If St Cuthbert’s is to ‘start with the park’, how would you design the park to ensure that it is the heart of the garden village?’

The student entries will be divided into:

  • students of landscape architecture at undergraduate or graduate level.
  • other undergraduate/post graduate courses.

There will be two winners selected, one from each category, who will be awarded a prize of £1,500. There will also be two runner ups for each category selected with a prize award of £500 each.

The information about the competition is available here.  

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.


St. Cuthbert’s Garden Village Carlisle

St Cuthbert’s secured Garden Village status in January 2017 and is the largest of the Garden Villages in the north. 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. The garden village ‘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.

Carlisle City Council aims to improve the health, wellbeing and economic prosperity of the people of Carlisle. They want 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.

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. 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. Carlisle projects will benefit from £19.7 million government funding, as part of the city’s Town Deal Investment Plan. This offer has now been agreed by the Town Deal Board, and will fund several projects including: Start with the Park, St Cuthbert’s Garden Village: Providing new and improved walking and cycling routes connecting the key settlements of the Garden Village with Carlisle City Centre.

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.


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