Workington facts for kids
|OS grid reference|
|• London||259 miles (417 km) SE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
Workington is a town, civil parish and port at the mouth of the River Derwent on the west coast of Cumbria, England. Historically in Cumberland and lying in the Borough of Allerdale, Workington is 32 miles (51.5 km) southwest of Carlisle, 7 miles (11.3 km) west of Cockermouth, and 5 miles (8.0 km) southwest of Maryport. At the 2011 Census it had a population of 25,207.
Workington is the seat of Allerdale Borough Council. Sue Hayman is the MP for the constituency of the same name that includes other towns in Workington's hinterland.
The area around Workington has long been a producer of coal and steel.
Between AD 79 and AD 122, Roman forts, mile-forts and watchtowers were established along the Cumbrian coast. They were coastal defences against attacks by the Scoti from Ireland and by the Caledonii, the most powerful tribe in what is now Scotland. The 16th-century Britannia, written by William Camden describes ruins of the coastal defences at Workington.
A Viking sword was discovered at Northside, which is believed to indicate that there was a settlement at the river's mouth.
In 2009 several bridges were damaged or destroyed by the River Derwent during the 2009 floods
Early 2000s regeneration
In 2006, Washington Square, a £50 million shopping centre and 275,000 sq ft (25,500 m2) mixed use complex, was opened to replace the run down St John's Arcade, built in the 1960s and 70s. In 2007, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors named Washington Square as the 'best commercial project' in North West England.
Several works of public art were installed in the town centre, including:
- Glass Canopies designed by Alexander Beleschenko.
- The Coastline by Simon Hitchens.
- The Hub by BASE Structures and Illustrious.
- The Grilles architectural metalwork at Central Car Park by Tom Lomax in association with pupils from St Patrick's Primary School and Alan Dawson.
- Central Way public toilets with tiles designed in collaboration between ceramic artist Paul Scott and writer Robert Drake, in addition to a fish tank containing species from the Solway provided by the Lake District Coast Aquarium in Maryport. by Paul Scott and Robert Drake.
- Lookout Clock, an interactive town clock designed by Andy Plant and Matt Wand.
While successful efforts have been made to find appropriate local names for the major streets of the new shopping centre, the initial planning title of Washington Square has been retained; there is concern over the use of the word Washington, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning the settlement of the people of 'Wash' for the new square in Workington, which means settlement of the people of 'Weorc'.
Cloffocks Field Tesco development controversy
A plan to build a 92,900 sq ft (8,630 m2) Tesco Extra store on the Cloffocks proved controversial with much opposition from local people; a planning application was placed in 2006 by Tesco, after it acquired the Cloffocks site for £18 million; Tesco had been competing with Asda to acquire the site since 2003. Campaigners opposed the sale, stating that the land was common ground and belonged to the people of Workington, in 2010 the Countess of Lonsdale invoked her rights to mine the land, in an attempt to prevent the development. In 2011 a closed meeting of Allerdale councillors took place to discuss the sale of the site, the council rescinded on its decision to sell the site to Tesco in June 2011. Tesco stated that they were still seeking a site for a store of around 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) in Workington to replace the established store.
The town comprises various districts, many of which were established as housing estates. North of the river these districts include Seaton, Barepot, Northside, Port and Oldside. On the south side are the districts of Stainburn, Derwent Howe, Ashfield, Banklands, Frostoms (Annie Pit), Mossbay, Moorclose, Salterbeck, Bridgefoot, Lillyhall, Harrington, High Harrington, Clay Flatts, Kerry Park, Westfield and Great Clifton. The Marsh and Quay, a large working class area of the town around the docks and a major part of the town's history, was demolished in the early 1980s. Much of the former area of the Marsh is now covered by Clay Flatts Industrial Estate.
Workington is linked by the A596 road to Maryport, to Whitehaven via A595 road, by the A66 road to Penrith and continues to Scotch Corner in County Durham. The town has bus connections to other towns and villages in Cumbria, such as Cockermouth, Keswick, Penrith, Carlisle, Wigton, Maryport, Whitehaven, Frizington, Egremont and Thornhill.
The Cumbrian Coast Line provides rail connections from Workington railway station to Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness, with occasional through trains to Lancaster and Preston.
Workington North railway station opened on 30 November 2009 as a temporary means of crossing the river following the closure of road bridges due to flooding. A free train service operated between Workington (Main) and Maryport and was funded by the British Government.
Arts and entertainment
Workington is home to three theatres. The Carnegie Theatre, Theatre Royal and the Workington Opera House. In the past Workington was a big town for variety acts and theatre and hosted many top acts including Tommy Cooper and Shirley Bassey. Workington Opera House has also hosted many circus shows which included elephants and other circus animals performing on stage.
The Carnegie Theatre and Theatre Royal are still open and put on performances all year round. The Workington Opera House is currently closed after its last use as a bingo hall. The "Opera Action" group plan to restore the Workington Opera House into a working theatre to revitalise the economy of Workington and provide top quality entertainment for the people of West Cumbria.
The town once had four cinemas (the Carnegie; the Hippodrome; the Oxford; and the Ritz), all of which have now closed and have been replaced with the Plaza Cinema at Dunmail Park. During the 1950s, films were also shown at the Opera House.
On 19 September 2009, Valentine Rock took place; a 19 band charity music festival. It was staged at the Ernest Valentine Ground home of Workington Cricket Club. Artists include: The Chairmen, Novellos, With Lights Out, Volcanoes, Breed, Colt 45, Relics, Telf, Thir13een, Slagbank, Hangin' Threads and Hand of Fate. Profits went to the RNLI and West Cumberland Lions.
In 2008, the Paint Your Town Red Festival invited Liverpool comic and actor Ricky Tomlinson. Described as 'The biggest free festival in Workington's history', the 2008 festival included a free children's fun fair in Vulcan Park and stage and street entertainnment. Attractions included "Jimmy James and his Soul Explosion", "Dearham Band" and the all-girl band "Irresistible". Keswick's "Cars of the Stars" museum provided a stunt driving display.
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Workington Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.