Carlisle United confirm Project Blue Yonder talks are ongoing
Carlisle United Football Club remain in contact with a developer regarding a city centre regeneration project which would have the ability to accommodate a new all-seater stadium for the football club.
The following points to note have recently been discussed:
+ The aspiration to build a new all-seater stadium can only be realised through direct funding, or an ‘enabling project’ of other community, leisure and retail uses which will generate the value required to fund what would be close to a £14m stadium cost.
+ The developer with whom we have a lock-out agreement has been looking to create a regeneration project on a site close to the city centre which would provide such a commercially viable, retail-led enabling development and would include a new stadium for both Carlisle United and the city.
+ This however requires commitment from potential tenants, which for reasons outside their direct control is, at the moment, not forthcoming.
+ There are multiple stakeholders involved in establishing any major development project in an historic city; the local authorities, landowners, statutory agencies, funders and, critically, operators who have stated demand for space and who pay rent.
+ The latter is the most challenging in the current commercial environment where retailers, in particular, are increasingly disinclined to open new stores in a location where their research indicates insufficient potential sales density or demographic criteria to meet their development hurdles.
+ Significant potential operators have been approached and the opportunity explained over many months, but currently there is no substantive commitment.
+ The developer with whom we have been in dialogue is acutely aware of the desire for the club to have a new stadium to replace Brunton Park, but such a project cannot be the driver for a viable enabling development unless it has (additional) direct funding solely for that project.
+ Notwithstanding the lock-out agreement ceasing in October this year, the developer will continue to engage with the appropriate stakeholders, and potential retail and leisure operators, to try to bring about a regeneration project in the city in which Carlisle United Football Club could play a significant part, in due course.