A MULTI-MILLION pound programme of transformational projects that make up the #BrilliantBarrow initiative has secured final approval from Barrow Borough Council’s Executive Committee.
Barrow was offered £25 million from the Government’s £3.6 billion Town Deal fund last year.
The money is for seven ambitious schemes that are set to secure a bright and transformative future for the town for generations to come - bringing communities together, boosting health and wellbeing, helping businesses and the economy and ensuring 15,000 people can access further and higher-level education over the next 20 years.
The final project details have already won the backing of the #BrilliantBarrow Board - made up of representatives from organisations, businesses and groups operating within the town.
Now, the summaries will be submitted to the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as the final stage in the lengthy process towards unlocking the promised funding.
Steve Cole, the chair of the #BrilliantBarrow board and Chief Infrastructure Officer at BAE Systems Ltd, said: “Each of the seven projects has something hugely valuable to provide for the community of Barrow for a long time to come.
“The process of unlocking regeneration funding on this scale is complex and lengthy, and my thanks go to all those involved in developing the business cases to bring us to this point.
“But this is not the end of the story. The most exciting part is yet to come when work to realise the projects and their potential for Barrow gets underway.”
The Government’s Towns Deal Initiative was launched in 2019 to support economic regeneration across the country and to encourage long term productivity and growth as part of its Levelling Up agenda.
Barrow was one of the first towns in the country to secure an offer of £25 million from the fund.
#BrilliantBarrow is made up of seven individual projects:
Barrow Learning Quarter - the creation of a new university campus on Barrow Island to offer a range of higher education courses as well as extended further education provision at Furness College’s Rating Lane site. This will raise aspirations and help 15,000 individual learners over the next 20 years.
Community Wellbeing Hubs - The development of hubs in the town centre, in Ormsgill and on Barrow Island that sit at the heart of communities where families of all ages throughout their whole life can access support in a way that works for them. There will also be a new outdoor community hub and learning centre at Earnse Bay.
Place Development - A project to develop locations in the town that can be used to support events, festivals and cultural activities that bring the community together and encourage people to visit Barrow, providing an economic boost and encouraging perceptions of the town as a great place to live, work and visit.
Housing Renewal - A programme of housing renewal focussed on a number of properties in the neighbourhoods of Barrow Island and Rawlinson Street to improve homes and make them more energy efficient to support a reduction of 367 tonnes of C02 per year while also increasing levels of community pride.
Business support - A project aimed at developing a supportive business environment to boost Barrow’s enterprise overall and equip individuals, small and medium-sized businesses with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and grow.
Marina Village - A remediation scheme to prepare the key brownfield site for the private sector so that it can deliver a mix of high quality homes that sit side by side with wildlife habitats.
Business cases have been developed for each of the projects over the last 12 months. These business cases have been through a stringent assurance process to make sure they are robust, supported by the community and sustainable for the future.
Councillor Ann Thomson, Barrow Borough Council leader and a member of the #BrilliantBarrow board, said: “The work involved in getting the business cases to such an advanced and detailed stage has been a marathon effort by a great number of people.
“I’m delighted all seven projects submitted as part of our #BrilliantBarrow proposal last year will now go forward to Government once again as we look to unlock the vital funding.
"We want to move these excellent schemes forward to unlock the huge benefits they have the potential to bring to our communities for years to come.”
Full details of each of the schemes can be found on the #BrilliantBarrow website brilliantbarrow.org.uk