Plans for Keswick Convention 2020 on one joint site

Draft plans for the layout of Keswick Convention 2020 on one joint site were shared at the latest Keswick Town Liaison Forum.

For the first time ever, next summer’s convention (Saturday 11 and Friday 31 July) will be run jointly on the Pencil Factory and Rawnsley sites.

Keswick Ministries, which runs the annual Convention, said it is retaining the former packing warehouse on the pencil factory site, for now.

The space is being cleared out to house the Convention’s Base Camp where the mission agencies will exhibit alongside a bookshop and café
The main Convention tent will be next to the former warehouse and the former factory will be used for some of the children’s work.

Discussions are taking place with the Pencil Museum about extending their café provision during Convention.
The draft plans were discussed with members of the Town Liaison Forum this Tuesday.

Representatives from Keswick Ministries, Keswick Town Council, Allerdale Council and Cumbria Police looked at topics and updates relating to the Convention.
The forum was launched by Keswick Ministries to develop a higher level of two-way communication between the annual three-week summer event and the town, and to encourage a greater level of connection between the town and the Conventioners.

Members heard plans to widen the entrance to the Pencil Factory site for vehicles and pedestrians. A walkway will also be created from the Rawnsley site across to the Pencil Factory site and the lower carpark at the Rawnsley site will also be extended. Simon Overend, of Keswick Ministries said there are plans for a temporary pedestrian crossing on Main Street, to help people cross the road safely, which Highways are “in support of”.

Plans for the Convention programme are also under way. James Robson, Ministry Director for Keswick Ministries, said “good progress is being made” on the programme. Speakers for the 2020 Convention include Gavin Calver, Chief Executive at the Evangelical Alliance and the Chair of Spring Harvest, in Week One (11-17 July). Bob White, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Cambridge, will be speaking on climate change in Week Three (25-31 July).

Discussions took place about Keswick Ministries’ facilities and what work needs to take place at the Pencil Factory site. A planning application has been submitted to Lake District National Park. This covers improvements to site access, the plant room, and the retention and enclosure of two of the external fire escapes. It is due to be considered by Keswick Town Council next week.

Councillor Adam Paxon, of Keswick Town Council, asked about the plans for parking at the Skiddaw Street site.
Keswick Ministries said a planning application had been submitted with a decision expected by the end of the year. It was hoped that the provision of parking would help alleviate pressure in the town.
In answer to questions about the future of the Skiddaw Street site, Keswick Ministries said at this stage, mid-project, no decision on the future of the site has been made beyond its use for parking.
The Convention Centre will be used for accommodation for volunteers at next summer’s event.

For more information about Keswick Convention 2020, go to: https://keswickministries.org/convention-2020/

The next Town Liaison Forum is set to take place on February 11, 2020.

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