The people of Workington are being asked to help shape their town’s recovery from the floods by giving their views on the type of structures they’d like to see replace the collapsed Northside and Navvies bridges.
Cumbria County Council, working together with Allerdale Borough Council, is undertaking a public consultation called Workington Connected - a move aimed at capturing the ideas and aspirations of local people so that their comments and ideas are incorporated into the bridge designs.
It is taking place this month as a temporary road bridge across the River Derwent is now open so the immediate priority of re-establishing a direct road link between the two sides of the town has been achieved and the major focus now falls on the permanent bridge solutions.
The county and borough councils are working on the consultation with Places Matter, an organisation devoted to generating a strong sense of place in living, working and learning environments throughout the Northwest.
And to gauge peoples’ ideas and opinions on a replacement bridge a drop-in session is being held at Workington's Carnegie theatre between noon and 7pm on Friday May 14 where views will be recorded and discussed.
Marie Fallon, Cumbria County Council’s Environment Corporate Director, said: "The loss of bridges has had a major impact on Workington and the importance of the bridges to the town has been highlighted through the floods. How vital they are perhaps wasn't noticed before November as people often don't realise how much they value and rely on something until it's no longer there.
"As part of re-providing permanent bridges we want to ensure that the people of Workington play their part in shaping the future of their town and the structures that are vitally important to it."
The comments from this session will determine the key messages and themes arising from the consultation, which will then be discussed at a second engagement meeting later in the month.
The aim is to make clear how the new bridges are expected to help achieve people’s aspirations for Workington through the way it adds to the distinctiveness and appeal of the town as somewhere to live and work, invest in and visit as well as connecting communities in the town and recreational uses. The design brief of new bridges will then reflect what the people of Workington want to see.
This community engagement supports the county council’s ongoing design and assessment work to secure permanent bridge replacements that has been going on behind the scenes since the floods first hit.
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