Barrow town centre regeneration projects to take a step forward

A SERIES of major regeneration projects designed to help Barrow’s town centre thrive are to take a step forward.


Barrow Borough Council secured £16 million through the Government’s Levelling Up Fund in October last year for improvements to Barrow Market and its exterior.


A total of £25 million has also been confirmed for #BrilliantBarrow from the Government’s Towns Fund for a programme of seven innovative projects designed to help boost opportunities in the town for years to come.


Two of these projects - #BrilliantBarrow Place Development and Community Wellbeing Hubs - also have elements that are focused in the immediate vicinity of Barrow Market.


Now, Barrow Borough Council is to launch a special procurement exercise to investigate whether work required to deliver all of the projects can be carried out by a single contractor in order to maximise efficiencies and minimise disruption.


It will also ensure both schemes remain on track to be completed by March 2025.


Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “Both of these schemes represent a huge opportunity for the regeneration of our town centre.


“They are designed to help attract residents and visitors to the area and to increase the amount of time people spend in the town centre itself.


“It’s rare for two regeneration schemes of this magnitude to come along at once but it is to be welcomed because it opens up the chance for us to look at ways in which we can be as efficient as possible by taking a joint approach to delivery.”


The Leveling Up Funding will improve Barrow’s Market Hall as well as creating a food hall and children’s soft play area.


The work will also include the creation of a shared entrance to both The Market Hall and The Forum on Duke Street. 


The #BrilliantBarrow Place Development project will see the area to the rear of Barrow Market, as well as at The Dock Museum, overhauled to provide a home for a new events and entertainment programme.


Meanwhile a new network of #BrilliantBarrow community hubs will include one located at The Forum - providing a home for activities and services for people in all stages of life. 


The plans were developed following a series of public consultations during 2020 and 2021 to find out what local residents felt should be the focus of regeneration activity in Barrow town centre.


This included public drop-in sessions, briefings, workshops with stakeholders and businesses and leaflets and posters in print and online. 


Cllr Thomson added: “There’s a lot of work to do to deliver these schemes, particularly in the timescale set. 


“I’m pleased this is getting underway and that we are now moving towards realising the benefits and opportunities each one will harness for Barrow.”