Barrow town centre £17.5m overhaul progresses
Westmorland & Furness Council has approved external alterations to the town’s market hall and its neighbouring arts and entertainment venue, The Forum, to improve accessibility.
Located opposite the grade two-listed town hall, renovations will see the creation of an accessible entrance off Duke Street to form a gateway to Barrow Market Hall and The Forum.
Existing shopfronts and steel columns along Duke Street will be removed to allow sunlight to illuminate the two buildings and brighten the central conservation area.
Designed by architect OP-EN, plans also include the replacement of The Forum’s pitched roof with a flat roof, as well as refurbished entrances to the market hall off Portland Walk, Paxton Street, and Stephen Street.
Cllr Virginia Taylor, Westmorland and Furness Council’s cabinet member for sustainable communities and localities, said: “This scheme will give Barrow’s town centre a bright new look so both residents and visitors will love to visit and spend time here.
“Getting planning approval is a huge milestone to have reached and now work to the facade of the buildings can get underway this summer.”
The project forms part of Barrow Council’s £17.5m Levelling Up scheme. In 2021, the local authority was awarded £16m from the government’s Levelling Up fund, match-funded with £1.5m from the council itself.
The wider scheme also includes public realm improvements, the revitalisation of Barrow Market, a new community hub, and the creation of a pocket park and event space opposite the market hall’s Portland Walk entrance.
To find out more about the plans, search for application number B18/2023/0221 on Westmorland & Furness Council’s planning portal.
Hear more about developments in Cumbria at our Cumbrian Development Update.