Detailed work underway as #BrilliantBarrow takes next steps towards £25m funding

DETAILED plans are being drawn up to ensure the ambitious #BrilliantBarrow initiative can move forward in its entirety in 2021.


The scheme aims to transform Barrow through seven key projects to help the area thrive for future generations as a great place to live, work and visit.


Barrow was one of the first towns in the country to be awarded £25 million from the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund in October.


Now, further work detailing how each project can be completed within the funding allocation is underway. It will be submitted to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government as the next step in the formal process to unlock the promised sum.


Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council and a member of the #BrilliantBarrow board, said: “This is the next step in the life of this exciting scheme.


“The total cost of all seven projects was £29 million - with each one delivering something vital to this area. 


“Barrow was awarded the maximum allocation of £25 million from the Towns Fund so a lot of work is ongoing to make sure the whole scheme moves forward to the timelines set out by the government.”


Barrow was among 101 towns across the country invited to bid for a share of £3.6 billion available through the government’s Towns Fund.


A Towns Deal Board was established in the borough earlier this year to bring together representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors who advised on the development of #BrilliantBarrow.


The seven projects included are designed to help shape development and growth in the town for years to come.


They are:


  • A university-style campus facility offering both further and higher education courses

  • A network of community well-being hubs, including a new outdoor centre at Earnse Bay

  • A programme of bespoke business support provided to residents, entrepreneurs and SMEs to harness economic opportunities in Barrow

  • The development of events and performance spaces to draw people to the area

  • A programme of housing renewal

  • New cycling and walking infrastructure to allow Barrow to become an active travel town

  • Preparations to allow Barrow’s Marina Village to get underway

Work will continue on the detailed business cases for the projects before final submission to government next year. 


After this, the funding can be drawn down to get each one underway.


Steve Cole, chief infrastructure officer at BAE Systems and chair of the #BrilliantBarrow board, said: “The announcement that the #BrilliantBarrow bid had been successful in securing £25 million in funding was absolutely pivotal for the borough, but it was only the first stage in the process towards getting the money itself.


“Now is the time for the development of each business case in fine detail. Once this is complete, the projects can get underway and we can move towards a very bright future for Barrow.”