Improvements to historic Barrow street set to get underway

ONE of Barrow’s most historic streets is to undergo work to enhance its public spaces as part of the larger scheme to restore it to its former glory.

Duke Street will be at the centre of an 18 week programme of works which start this week to extend footways on the North East side of Duke Street, beginning at the Cavendish Street junction and moving toward Ramsden Square in phases. 

Trees and areas of planting will be added as part of the scheme along with seating areas to improve the overall appearance of the street. 

The improvements form part of the £1.1million High Street Heritage Action Zone project which will see the road - once a thriving hub of activity in the town - transformed. 

Some traffic management will be necessary to allow the work to get underway and to enable the works to be delivered safely. These include temporary traffic signals in place throughout the period and the temporary suspension of parking bays and the bus stops outside of TNT Records and Forrester’s Solicitors from October 17th. 

However, the existing pavement in front of businesses is to remain in situ and will be largely unaffected by works allowing businesses to remain open as usual throughout.

Councillor Helen Wall, Barrow Borough Council’s lead member for Wildlife and Heritage, said: ”Duke Street is a road of great significance in Barrow. 

“It is lined with historic buildings which are packed with character and over the years it has played a major role as a commercial centre of Barrow, drawing residents and visitors from near and far.

“This programme of works will allow us to breathe fresh life into this once bustling section of our town centre, transforming it into a place where residents and visitors choose to spend time.”

Barrow’s designated Heritage Action Zone runs from Barrow Library to Barrow Town Hall and includes part of Abbey Road and Cornwallis Street.

It received a funding award of £1.1 million from Historic England in 2020. Match funding was also received from Barrow BID.  

The money can only be spend within designated conservation areas and will provide:

- physical improvements to properties via a grants scheme

- enhancements to public space 

- delivery of cultural activities to regenerate and restore the local historic character of the area, encouraging people to learn about the history of Duke Street and its surrounds.

Cllr Wall added: “Town centres across the UK face unprecedented challenges as shopping habits change, something we know was accelerated during the Covid pandemic. Barrow is no different in this regard.

“But we are determined to give Duke Street and the town centre every opportunity to thrive into the future.

“The works on Duke Street are not expected to cause delays or inconvenience and we look forward to seeing some of the rich, historical character of the street returning as a result of the scheme.”

To find out more about Barrow’s Heritage Action Zone, please visit: Home - Hi!Barrow (


This funding, for 69 High Street Heritage Action Zones, combines £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund with £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund. £3 million will be provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support a cultural programme to engage people in the life and history of their high streets.

Save our high streets - Many high streets are under pressure as more people choose to shop at out-of-town retail parks or online, forcing high street businesses to close down and buildings to become vacant. The special character of our historic high streets is suffering which threatens the local identity of our villages, towns and cities.