Tag Archives: canal corridor


As if the building works on campus weren’t enough to deal with, our eagle-eyed subtext narrowboat drivers have spotted another concrete block on the horizon. Readers who keep up with the local news will have spotted much recent to-ing and fro-ing by Lancaster City Council over the area formerly known as ‘The Canal Corridor’ in the centre of Lancaster (perhaps better called ‘The Car Park Corridor’ as most of the Council-owned land in the area consists of the income generating car parks off St. Leonardsgate and to the South of Moor Lane).
Over the years there have been many twists and turns in the fate of this area, including the recent discovery that British Land (who own much of the old Mitchells Brewery buildings on the site) are based offshore for tax purposes, the plans for an arts hub to rival the best, and the lack of consultation with less ‘PR friendly’ residents such as the Musicians Co-op and Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service. The more recent complications were brought to light by a City Councillor who defied the Council embargo on sharing information with the public. (See: https://virtual-lancaster.net/news-story/green-party-spills-beans-risky-canal-corridor-leases)
This set of revelations also brought to light the huge financial burden that would be placed on the Council if the deal with British Land went through (don’t mention Blobbygate or the Market!), and funnily enough shortly afterwards the Council announced it was pulling out. However, it also highlighted just how much our venerable institution was also involved in plans, and in fact the University is still a ‘key partner’ in the new, sexy ‘Canal Quarter’ plans. (See: http://www.lancaster.gov.uk/news/2018/mar/canal-corridor)
Of course, you would expect a higher education institution with a strategic focus on engagement, who is a key partner in a landmark redevelopment of a city centre, to ensure that adequate public engagement might actually take place, in a best-practice style. But, apparently the Council know best, and have decided on 9 ‘principles’ for the development of the Canal Quarter, which are then accompanied in the online questionnaire with a series of rather narrowly focused ‘explanations’ of what each principle means, resulting less in actual involvement of local people, and more in ‘do you like this list we wrote?’: http://www.lancaster.gov.uk/news/2018/may/have-your-say-on-canal-quarter-principles)
subtext observes that there is no limit to the number of times you can complete the questionnaire, and encourage all readers to ‘engage’ as much as they can before the survey closes on 13th June.