Friday, 14 December 2012

Lancaster Vision 2020 sees Castle on horizon


The rainbow's end?
Lancaster Castle viewed from Aldcliffe
Lancaster Civic Society has launched a new group looking to encourage Lancaster to capitalise on the opening of the Castle. to be called Lancaster Vision 2020 (LV2020).   It is intended to include residents. local businesses and other stakeholders, who need not be members of the Civic Society, and it will liaise with a range of groups from Lancaster and beyond. You can check out their webpage at
http://lancastercivicsociety.wordpress.com/castle/

LV20 would like us to focus our minds on the following economic predictions:

- Lancaster Castle is to open to the public in the fairly near future (Full details of the Duchy’s proposals for the Castle may be found at http://www.lancastercastle.org/).
- the Castle is recognised to be one of the foremost historic buildings in the north-west of England 

- the opening of the Castle should bring many more visitors to Lancaster 
- this increased flow of visitors should provide both the resources and the economic case for improvements to the hotels, shops, parking facilities, and the environment and general ambience of the City centre 
- the City should be preparing more vigorously to take full advantage of this.

"If the City is to take full advantage of this important opportunity, it will need to develop more and better hotel accommodation, and more and better restaurants; it should develop more attractive and better-stocked shops; it will need to provide better access to the centre of the City  -  not just to the Castle, but as a whole; and so on.  Some of this is likely to happen anyway, as local and outside entrepreneurs respond to the increased trading turnover in the City; but it should be supported and guided by local people, with the aim of making sure that the new developments build on what is best about Lancaster."

The aims of the new group are:

- to bring together people and groups who have an interest in securing the best outcome and increased prosperity for Lancaster District with the opening of the Castle 
- together with these people and groups, to develop and promote strategies towards achieving this. 

Towards these aims, the group plans to meet and discuss plans with, for example, Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council, the Duchy of Lancaster, Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce, Beyond the Castle, the two universities, local cultural organisations, the Storey.....and so on.  Strategies are to be worked out at discussions among all these parties.

This is at an early stage, but we plan to move ahead quickly so that opportunities are not missed.

Double Vision?
NB: Just so you don't get mixed up, there is already an organisation in existence called City of Lancaster Vision 2020.  This is based in Lancaster, California.  Lancaster CA aims to become one of the world's first net zero cities for its electricity use by 2020.
For more about the Lancaster UK campaign on local sustainability issues go to the Transition City Lancaster website at http://www.transitioncitylancaster.org/

Castle Christmas Market
Don't forget, there will be a Christmas Market in the Castle courtyard this Thursday 20 December. It will be open from 12-9pm with choirs, brass bands, carols, lights, lots of proper stalls, hot food, mulled wine, late night shopping and cafes under the lights in town, free evening parking....  it's all coming together!

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