RESIDENTS across Barrow are being asked to share their views on a once in a lifetime opportunity set to ensure the town enjoys a thriving and prosperous future.
Barrow is in the running to receive up to £25 million of cash through the government’s Towns Fund.
Today (Friday, May 1), a new website - brilliantbarrow.org.uk - has been launched by Barrow’s Town Deal Board to showcase how the investment could be used to shape development and growth in the town for future generations.
Members of the public are urged to highlight their priorities from a list of proposals before mid-May when a shortlist of projects will be selected for more detailed consideration.
Social media channels on Twitter and Facebook are also now live and will use the hashtags #BrilliantBarrow and #MyTown to collate community discussion.
Steve Cole, BAE Systems chief infrastructure officer, is chair of Barrow Town Deal Board.
He said: “I’m excited at the prospect of starting a conversation now that will help map out how we all want to develop.
“Where should our travel and transport networks operate? How and where do we want to shop? What part does the waterfront play?
“We’re launching #BrilliantBarrow now because we want as many people as possible to join in and share their priorities for how the town could look and feel in the future.”
The Town Deal Board is focused on winning a £25 million share of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund scheme for regeneration, infrastructure and skills projects.
Its membership is drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors who act in an advisory capacity to Barrow Borough Council.
Its first task is to help develop an investment plan which will be submitted to the government this summer.
As part of this, a longlist of ambitious regeneration, infrastructure and skills projects that could be brought to life in Barrow are outlined on the new website, following a public engagement exercise held in January.
They include Barrow becoming a university town that offers higher education within a campus-style setting, the development of a greener and more accessible public transport network, improvements to housing, the creation of community resilience hubs and enhanced business support.
For inspiration, the website also showcases many of the things that have already contributed to making Barrow the brilliant place it is today, including its people, businesses, industry, heritage, sport and the environment.
Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, lent her support to the launch of the #BrilliantBarrow website and urged people to join the conversation.
She said: "While lockdown continues and we are doing all we can to protect our residents and support the NHS, now does feel like a good time to think and talk about what the future of our town could be.
“This is a chance for everyone to join in the conversation about the future of our town.
"Let's celebrate all that is already brilliant about Barrow. It's an extraordinary place filled with incredible and inspirational people.
"But we now have an exciting new opportunity in front of us which will help ensure Barrow thrives for generations to come.
"Please get involved and tell us what your priorities are so we can make the most of this funding from the government."