Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet has agreed to appoint Galliford Try Construction Ltd to undertake the design and build of the multi-million-pound Carlisle Southern Link Road project.
Despite several challenges with rising costs of materials, the County Council, City Council and Government have remained committed to progressing the project.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have now confirmed they will provide £212m funding for the new road, subject to finalising the legal agreements. This is in addition to the combined contributions from Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council of £13.8m which will be sourced from developer contributions as homes are built.
The new road will connect Junction 42 of the M6 with the A595 at Newby West and is vital for the economic growth of Carlisle and to deliver the St. Cuthbert’s Garden Village that will deliver 10,000 new homes over the next 30 years and employment opportunities, bringing significant benefits to the city and the wider county. This project will unlock economic inclusive growth through the creation of jobs, attracting businesses to invest, reducing congestion and creating the infrastructure to support the building of quality homes and community facilities.
The main construction works are due to commence on site in June 2023 following a few months of mobilisation, during which activity across the site will increase. Construction is anticipated to take at least two years with the road open to the public in the Summer of 2025.
The council received planning consent for the road in October 2020 following a period of extensive public consultation and has worked closely with landowners and statutory stakeholders to minimise the impact of the scheme on their land.
Government originally announced funding towards the new road in February 2019 and in July 2020 the council’s Cabinet agreed to enter into a funding agreement with Homes England. As a result of Local Government Reorganisation, the County Council will cease to exist on 1 April. As such Cumberland Council will be responsible for delivering the road and they have given their formal consent to award the contract.
Welcoming the award of contract to Galliford Try, Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said:
“I’m delighted that we have reached this significant milestone in the Carlisle Southern Link Road project. What once felt like a pipe dream to build this new strategic road, now really feels like it is happening and gathering pace with the appointment of Galliford Try. The benefits the road will bring in connecting East and West Cumbria and unlocking both housing for the new garden village and stimulating economic growth and investment cannot be underestimated.
“Cumbria County Council has campaigned to secure the funding needed for this project and it is a fantastic legacy for us in our final days to hand this to the new Cumberland Council to deliver the scheme for the people of Cumbria.”
Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr John Mallinson, added: “I’m delighted that funding has been secured for this major infrastructure project. The road will provide better connectivity within Cumbria and unlock housing for St Cuthbert’s Garden Village. It will provide lasting benefits that will help boost employment and economic growth.”