THE Government has confirmed the inspirational #BrilliantBarrow programme is to receive the full £25 million in Town Deal regeneration funding.
#BrilliantBarrow is made up of seven ambitious projects all designed to ensure the area thrives as a great place to live, work and visit now and into the future
The funding - from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities - was offered to Barrow in 2020 subject to the successful completion of a detailed business case for each project.
The business cases, which confirm the positive impact and long lasting benefits the projects will deliver, have been agreed within the timeframe to allow the promised money to be unlocked over the next four years.
Steve Cole, Chief Infrastructure Officer at BAE Systems and #BrilliantBarrow Board chair, said: “This is fantastic news. Barrow was one of the first towns in the country to secure an offer of funding from the Government in 2020 based on the strength and innovation of the seven projects submitted.
“Each one has the potential to benefit so many people and to help the town thrive for the future.
“Confirmation of the funding allocation marks the beginning of a very bright future for Barrow. I look forward to seeing each project take shape over the next few years to realise a raft of opportunity and positive outcomes for generations of people.”
Barrow was among 101 towns across the country invited to bid for a share of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund.
A Town Deal Board was established in the borough to bring together representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors who advised on the development of the #BrilliantBarrow scheme.
The seven projects included in the scheme are:
- Barrow Learning Quarter - a university campus facility on Barrow Island offering both further and higher education courses with 1400 places annually. In addition, improvements to Furness College’s Rating Lane campus will increase the number of college places available to 800.
- Community Wellbeing Hubs and Earnse Bay Outdoor Centre - Hubs at The Forum, in Barrow Town Centre, at Bram Longstaffe on Barrow Island and in Ormsgill will provide a home for activities and services for people in all stages of their lives. A new outdoor learning and community hub will also be created at Earnse Bay, on Walney.
- Business and Enterprise - A programme of bespoke business support will be available to residents, potential entrepreneurs and small to medium sized businesses, including community businesses and social enterprises, to harness economic opportunities in Barrow including those that exist within the supply chain.
- Brilliant Barrow Place Development - This project will improve event spaces in the town centre to allow a calendar of activities and events to be developed, attracting both residents and visitors to the area.
- Housing Renewal - Around 300 homes and a number of commercial properties in Rawlinson Street and Ferry Road on Barrow Island will undergo works and carbon reduction measures to improve the lives of residents as well as the overall perception of Barrow as a great place to live.
- Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure - Dedicated routes for cyclists and pedestrians will link key areas to make it easier, safer and more enjoyable to travel by bike or on foot, cutting the number of short car journeys to improve health and wellbeing, reduce carbon usage and contribute to cleaner air.
- Marina Village - This project will help bring forward remediation and development of the derelict waterfront site. The work will unlock the potential of the site allowing the private sector to construct a mixed range of new homesbringing people and families back into the heart of the town.
The projects will be delivered by a number of key partnership organisations across the area over several years - with completion of all seven projects expected by 2026.
Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, welcomed the news.
“This is a pivotal moment for our borough and all those who live and work here.
“The funding will ensure we are able to move forward into an exciting future with the launch of the innovative and ambitious new projects identified through #BrilliantBarrow.
“These projects have the potential to generate long term benefits for our communities - helping to realise new opportunities in further and higher education, regeneration and economic prosperity.
“I’m delighted the government has recognised our ambitions for Barrow with confirmation of the maximum amount of funding from the Towns Fund.”
On July 27, 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth. See further details of the announcement: PM speech at Manchester Science and Industry Museum - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between Government, the lead council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision. See the 101 places being supported to develop Town Deals: list-of-100-places.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)
Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19. View a list of accelerated funding by place: towns-fund-accelerated-funding-grants.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)