A new and exciting project currently in development is Skelwith Bridge Wharf, located on the historic site of the former Kirkstone Quarries in Skelwith Bridge, Ambleside, in the heart of the Lake District National Park. Since the previous business on the site went into administration, the site has remained unused and was falling into disrepair. With a well-loved and much-used public right of access - the Langdale walk - passing through the centre of the site, the former quarry buildings represent a local landmark within the wider natural and beautiful context of the Langdale Valley.
The multi-million pound proposals for the site respect the existing buildings, history and context; with a conservation-sensitive, mixed-use development which retains and refurbishes the historic stone wall and slate roofed buildings, representative of the local vernacular. Lesser quality, modern steel-framed, concrete and sheet-metal clad buildings and warehouses will be carefully removed and replaced by sensitively designed, high-quality architecture that will sit comfortably within this unique site.
The planning of this bespoke development has been led by considering the needs of the local community and the walking visitors to the area. An extension of the riverside walk, creation of public spaces, viewing points, seating, picnic areas, shelters and public conveniences provides the core of a functioning mixed-use programme. The project aims to develop and support a series of startup artisan/craft units and offices for local people wishing begin their own businesses, a walkers’ hub with free maps and weather information, a first-aid station and links to mountain rescue, a rustic restaurant and on-site accommodation.
The design gives consideration to its impact on the wider area with proposals to develop better local transport links, a shuttle-bus service; as well as promoting cycling, fitness and well-being; sustainable living, building and energy use.