Today, the Lake District National Park Development committee unanimously voted to support the planning application for the renovation of the former pencil factory site, and delegated authority to the head of the planning department for approval.
Keswick Ministries, the owners, are now set to refurbish the site as a new home for the Keswick Convention and a modern conference centre.
“This is a wonderful milestone in our charity’s 140-year history and for the town of Keswick,” said James Robson, Ministry Director, Keswick Ministries. “The site, which has been derelict for 10 years, will be transformed into a facility that the town and the people of the Lake District can be proud of.”
The site will bring all Convention activities together in one place. Old warehousing will be cleared to provide space for the Convention’s main marque and the whole area will be sensitively landscaped to improve the amenity value. Meanwhile, the Pencil Factory building will be modernised to provide toilet facilities, accommodation, meeting rooms and a conference centre.
As well as the Convention, the facility will host Keswick Ministries’ teaching and training courses, visiting church, school and local community groups. It is also envisaged that the conference space will be in demand by organisations from around the country. This will attract additional visitors to Keswick outside the main tourist season and create employment opportunities.