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Cumbria County Council’s Registration Service is changing and modernising the way it operates to offer its customers and the people of Cumbria greater choice and increased flexibility. The service currently manages the statutory legal process for the registration of births and deaths, and the legal and ceremonial duties for marriages and civil partnerships. It also offers various other statutory and non statutory services such as the provision of copy certificates, nationality checking, citizenship applications and ceremonies, and immigration control for non-EU nationals giving notice to marry or enter a civil partnership.
Weddings and civil partnerships can be held at nine registration offices or at one of over 120 'approved venues' throughout the county including many hotels.
The modernisation of the service will see a single registration district for the county – replacing the former nine districts. This will mean that for many of our services for the first time customers can choose the registry office in Cumbria that they consider the most convenient. New arrangements will also give the county council greater control and enable the service to adapt and be more responsive to customer needs in the future.
The service has also increased the opening hours at many of its offices making access easier for customers registering these important events in their lives. Appointments for birth and death registrations can now be booked online at any time, and the booking of marriage and civil partnership appointments will also be available online in the near future.
Certificate copying will be centralised with a dedicated team based at Carlisle’s new archive centre at Petteril Bank. They will deal with all requests for certificates which will mean improved turnaround times for requests and a full-time service for everyone in the county.
The vital historic registers that the certificate team looks after date back to 1837 and will be stored in the archive centre’s temperature-controlled vault ensuring they are properly preserved for future generations. The records will be moved in the coming months and future plans will see the service brought online, enabling the ordering of copy certificates from anywhere in the world at any time of day.
The main county register office is now located at County Offices in Kendal with registration offices located in Barrow, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Kendal, Maryport, Millom, Penrith, Ulverston, Wigton and two in Whitehaven (College House and the hospital). The central support staff will be based in Carlisle as will the service’s certificates' centre.
Full time offices (9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday) can be found in Kendal and Carlisle.
Full time offices open from 9am to 12:30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, can be found in Penrith, Ulverston, Whitehaven (both West Cumberland Hospital and College House) and Barrow. Part time offices are located in Cockermouth and Wigton.
Offices open at pre arranged times (by appointment only) can be found in Millom and Maryport.
Cllr Gary Strong, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member for the Registration Service, said: “This is good news for the county. Almost all of us will use the registration service at some point in our lives and these changes will make it much easier to use.
“Moving the certificates service to a specialist archive facility means the registers will get the care and attention they deserve so they’ll be available for generations to come.
“The registration service helps with more than 2,200 weddings every year and in turn this benefits the local economy. These changes can only improve that figure and bring more money into the county.”