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Key features of the economy

  • Carlisle city has a population of around 73,000 (68% of the district and 15% of Cumbria’s total). It is the largest settlement and only city in Cumbria that draws on a wide catchment for skills and business activity
  • Its economic role is in part as a sub-regional centre for northern Cumbria and large parts of southern Scotland (in the Borderlands area). It has the largest concentration of retail and business services activity in the county and also serves as the administrative centre for the county
  • There is substantial in-commuting from Scotland
  • It is well connected by road (M6) and rail (north-south and also local feeder services) and has an important transport and logistics sector
  • Strong logistics and manufacturing sectors. Food manufacturing is a key element of the economy, as is a range of activity linked to agriculture and wood/forestry as it sits centrally in a large farming area
  • Significant University of Cumbria presence and the location of Carlisle College

Opportunities and threats

  • Large centre of planned population growth to support Cumbria’s wider needs. St Cuthbert’s Garden Village is being progressed to provide 10,000 new homes to the south of Carlisle – the largest garden village in England, with funding in place for a major relief road
  • The University of Cumbria has its main operations in Carlisle, currently at two campuses. There is the potential to expand the presence of the university in the city
  • The employment area around Junction 44 to the north of the City of Carlisle has a large concentration of employment, and Kingmoor Park benefits from Enterprise Zone status
  • The opening of Carlisle Airport to commercial flights in 2019 has improved accessibility

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