Press Release: Athletics Club building demolition plan approved

Athletics Club building demolition plan approved

Plans to demolish a former athletics club base adjacent to Cockermouth’s Kirkgate Centre have been approved by Cumberland Council.

Demolition is due to commence on Monday, July 1 and will signal the latest stage in ambitious plans to develop a new home for a heritage collection showcasing Cockermouth’s history.

Kirkgate Arts and Heritage Group had applied to Cumberland Council for planning permission to demolish the former Derwent Athletics Club building in the All Saints car park in preparation for the new development.

The clubhouse, adjacent to the Kirkgate Centre, was donated to Kirkgate Arts a few years ago with a view to developing a facility capable of storing and displaying artefacts.

However, the one-storey prefabricated building, which contained asbestos, is structurally unsound and Kirkgate Arts and Heritage want to replace it with a new purpose-built facility to house the heritage collection.

Kirkgate General Manager Emma Heys said: “The former Derwent Athletics Club Building was originally a temporary classroom, built post-war to accommodate more pupils in the original All Saints School so historically it’s part of what is now the Kirkgate Centre.

“We employed a local asbestos removal and demolition firm to complete the clearance of the site. The first stage was to safely remove all the asbestos and then clear the interior. That work was completed recently.

“Demolition will commence on July 1 and should take around a week.

“The contractors are keeping disruption of the car park to an absolute minimum, with only a few bays being kept clear for the work to be completed. We are in contact with the council to make sure the site is safe and that work is completed swiftly.”

The building was purchased by an anonymous donor and passed on to Kirkgate Arts with a long-term aim in mind, said Emma.

“We are working on a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for money to cover stage one of the redevelopment,” she added.

“This would include a feasibility study into what we could develop in terms of income generation alongside the heritage offer, consultation with the community on what they would want from a heritage collection and how they would want to interact with it and finally the development of a plan for the building that we would aim to put on the site.

“We want to encourage everyone to join us on this journey, as this resource would be for the town as a whole.

“It would be a place not just to look at artefacts, but for young and old, locals and visitors alike to understand and engage with the Cockermouth area’s past as well as produce and maintain the heritage collection of the future.”

The building has been out of use for a number of years and neighbours have been informed about the planned work.


ENDS …..




Kirkgate is a charity based in Cockermouth, Cumbria.  It operates an arts and heritage centre as well as working with towns and villages in West Cumbria to encourage a diverse programme of arts, culture and entertainment.  Its vision is to ensure that creative talent is valued, developed and supported with opportunities for all to engage actively with, and enjoy, the arts, local heritage and community life.

The Kirkgate Centre brings the best cultural, theatrical and entertainment events to Cumbria. From the best feature and documentary films to live streaming of top London shows, to local talent, heritage exhibitions, music, theatre, comedy and more, there is something for everyone.

In the historic Kirkgate Quarter of the Gem Town of Cockermouth, sitting on the edge of the Lake District National Park, the Kirkgate Centre is the perfect venue for special occasions, conferences, meetings, courses, exhibitions or private film screenings.

Kirkgate manages Arts Out West which stages performances in community venues from Furness to the Solway, ranging from nationally-recognised theatre companies to international musicians with events that are as much a social occasion as a performance.  It is a member of the National Rural Touring Forum supported by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation.

Follow @kirkgatearts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

For more information:

Emma Heys 01900 829966

The Kirkgate Centre, Kirkgate, Cockermouth, CA13 9PJ