People across the borough have backed exciting proposals for the regeneration of Barrow’s town centre during a public consultation.
Barrow was awarded £16 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to create a brand new destination with food, shopping and experiences at its heart thanks to the transformation of the Barrow Market building and the public realm that surrounds it.
Along with £1.5 million in match funding from Barrow Borough Council, the scheme is set to create a thriving and vibrant town centre that attracts more people, offers a range of experiences and increases spending to boost the local economy.
The results of a public consultation in December, which included drop in events, online and paper surveys as well as workshops with stakeholder groups, found 81 per cent of respondents supported the objectives of the scheme.
In addition, 74 per cent were in favour of proposals to transform Barrow Market and its outside space to create a modern, light and attractive venue offering high quality shopping and leisure experiences.
Councillor Lee Roberts, Deputy Leader of the Council and its Lead Member for Economic Development, said: “Being at the heart of the town centre I see this as one of the most promising projects to come forward in our borough for many years. It is an opportunity to provide a much needed boost for our local traders and enhance the experience for residents and visitors.
“The results of the consultation before Christmas were really positive and encouraging with the majority of people in support of the proposals and the need to regenerate the town centre so that it is fit for the future.
“Also, the recent Market Twilight Event was very well received and attended and gave a taste of what the market could offer in future.
“I’m looking forward to seeing this project move forward and my thanks go to everyone who took the time to feed into the consultation, whether that was by attending a drop in session or completing the questionnaire.”
Manchester-based Buttress Architects, working with designers OPEN and engineers WSP, were selected during a competitive tender process to complete the design element of the scheme.
The project will enhance the entrance and foyer into The Forum. There will also be improvements to the public realm in Duke street to improve accessibility. A community hub will be created in The Forum as part of the #BrilliantBarrow Town Deal and there will also be a pocket park and space for outdoor events.
A second phase of consultation is set to be launched later this month with a planning application on track to be submitted in March 2023.
It is anticipated that work on the project could get underway in summer 2023.
Details about the Barrow Town Centre Regeneration Scheme and consultations can be found at barrowbc.gov.uk/regen