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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Church market plan blow for Maryport

Plans to save Maryport’s under-threat Christ Church by turning it into an indoor market venue have been scuppered.

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MARYPORT LANDMARK: Christ Church is under threat

Dawn Williamson, manager of the Carlton indoor market at the town’s former cinema, wanted to move the business into the church building.

Building owner Steve Wood has been forced to put the Carlton up for sale because of the economic climate and personal circumstances.

Miss Williamson thought the church would be a good alternative and approached Allerdale council.

But she has been told by Allerdale officers that planning permission is unlikely.

Miss Williamson, Mr Wood’s partner, said: “I would have wanted to keep the iconic exterior of the church and run the market inside.

“When we approached Allerdale, however, we were told we were unlikely to get change of use permission because there are empty shops in the town.

“It is disappointing because I can’t see what can be done down there that would not be commercial.

“I was very keen to keep the church looking as it does now as an iconic, much-painted landmark on Maryport harbour.”

She said she had been told to put in a planning application to see how it progressed.

But she added: “To be honest, we don’t have the energy to engage in a huge battle now. We have decided to leave it.”

She said she had been told that a London man had visited recently to view the building as a likely art gallery.

Miss Williamson added: “I understand he came specifically to look at Christ Church and wished to establish the gallery inside the church as it is.”

An Allerdale council spokesman said there had been discussions with a businessman from the South looking to establish a gallery, but he had wanted to demolish the church.

The spokesman said any submissions would be considered on their merits.

Miss Williamson said she hoped the market would continue to have a presence in Maryport despite the Carlton’s potential sale. She added that the couple were committed to Maryport.

The former cinema was reopened as a ceramics company and cafe in 2009 when Mr Wood moved from Stoke and created 14 jobs.

He received help to renovate the eyesore building through the Maryport Townscape Heritage Initiative.

Within months of opening, however, it was closed when dry rot was found.

Builders renovating the property were then declared bankrupt.

Have your say

Why are the council not clearer on what they want doing with the building. This article seems to suggest that they don't want change of use, and nor do they want it demolished. So what do they want done with it?

Posted by John on 21 September 2013 at 10:02

As a frequent visitor to Maryport I feel quite dismayed at the lack of Investment going on in the area . Stories of Butlins being stopped coming in , a open air market being stopped etc etc .Do you actually want people to come to Maryport?
Its a nice town but it needs people coming to Maryport and staying for the day.
A few more shops closing and it will be even more dismal. One shop owner I spoke to said her daily takings was £11.
Action before its to late please.

Posted by brian.Davison on 20 September 2013 at 18:59

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