Barrow secures sign-off for £25m Town Deal projects

A university campus building on Barrow Island, three community wellbeing hubs, and the site remediation of Marina Village are set to receive part of the government funding.

The #BrilliantBarrow programme features seven total projects for the Town Deal money, which was offered in 2020. The government has now approved the business case for each of the projects.

“This is a pivotal moment for our borough and all those who live and work here,” said Barrow in Furness Council leader Cllr Ann Thomson.

“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.”

The #BrilliantBarrow schemes were designed by a town deal board of the same name.

Steve Cole, chair of the #BrilliantBarrow board and the chief infrastructure officer at BAE Systems, voiced his excitement for the funding.

“Confirmation of the funding allocation marks the beginning of a very bright future for Barrow,” Cole said. “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.”

The #BrilliantBarrow town deal board expects all seven of the projects to complete by 2026.

The seven projects are:

Barrow Learning Quarter – a University of Cumbria campus facility on Barrow Island capable of educating 1,482 students a year, offering undergraduate and postgraduate high education and training in energy and advanced manufacturing. The project is estimated to cost £23.4m, of which £13.4m would come from the Town Deal funds. A consultation on the project has already been held, with the help of Day Architectural and DPP Planning.

Community Wellbeing Hubs and Earnse Bay Outdoor Centre – Three community wellbeing hubs at Ormsgill, Barrow Island and Hindpool. This project includes an outdoor activity and education building at Earnse Bay. Working together, these four centres would encourage “positive lifestyle choices” according to #BrilliantBarrow. This project is expected to cost £4.5m.

Business and Enterprise Support – This project would offer a series of programmes to help entrepreneurs and businesses in the arrow, including a business recovery programme and support for digitalisation. This project is projected to cost £1.05m, of which £1m would come from the Town Deal. The remaining £50,000 will be from Barrow Council.

Housing Renewal – Approximately 300 homes and commercial properties would be improved through refurbishment and by being made more environmentally friendly. The project is set to cost £4.4m, with £4m coming from the Town Deal.

Marina Village – This project would remediate a 64-acre brownfield site to enable future development, ideally of family homes and leisure and cultural space. The site has significant contaminated land issues according to #BrilliantBarrow and potential for groundwater contamination, so that will be addressed. The project will also see the demolition of redundant buildings and underground structures on the site. This scheme is estimated to cost £1m from the Town Deal, with funds matched by Homes England and the Cumbria LEP. The council is contributing £700,000 for the project.

Brilliant Barrow Place Development – Marketing and promotional activities are a key part of this project, which seeks to bring more investment and visitors to the borough. The project also calls for funding support for large events, including new music and light festivals. The project is estimated to cost £1.05m, with the majority coming from the Town Deal funds.

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure – This project would create and improve an 11.5-kilometre cycle network at Barrow, with work down around Abbey Road, Walney Road and Roose Road. The council will allocate £4.5m from the Town Deal for this proposal.

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