Earnse Bay Outdoor Centre Cumbria County Council and Natural England p Cumbria County Council

Cumbria Council and Natural Green have teamed up to deliver the 15,600 sq ft centre. Credit: via Cumbria County Council

Earnse Bay Outdoor Centre gets go-ahead

Cumbria County Council and Natural England can now start work on their 15,600 sq ft educational community hub on Walney Island following the secretary of state’s green light.

Proposals were approved last month, pending the final nod from the secretary of state after concerns were raised about the loss of land marked to be used as sports pitches.

Collingridge and Smith Architects drew up the plans for Earnes Bay Outdoor Centre, which will be split into two parts.

Natural England will deliver one part, which will be a volunteer and operational hub for the organisation’s team based at North Walney National Natural Reserve. The hub will have workshops, two classrooms, and six offices.

Cumbria County Council will use the other part, a community centre focused on outdoor and family support activities. The centre will also feature classrooms, as well as a café and village hall.

The facility will replace the former sports ground located between Cows Tarn Lane and West Shore Road.

Plans for the eight-acre site also include an urban park, designed by Westwood Landscape.

Outdoors, there will be a rounder’s pitch, trim trail, camping spaces, and community gardens.

There will be 37 car parking spaces delivered, with 10 at the front of the building and 27 at the West Shore Car Park opposite. Six cycle spaces and two motorcycle spaces will also be provided.

Central government signed off the scheme’s business case in February last year.

Part of the #BrilliantBarrow Town Deal, the Earnes Bay scheme will be part-funded by £3.1m from Barrow’s Town Deal pot. The project will also receive funding from Natural England, subject to approval.

To find out more about the project, search for application number B12/2022/0815 on Barrow-in-Furness Council’s planning portal.

The facility is one of seven projects funded by the town’s £25m Town Deal award, including the 650-home Marina Village and the Barrow Market Hall upgrade.

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I would like to know how this project will be managed. Will there be a warden on site ? I also would like to know how it will be funded in the future ? Will it not be like the Sure Start programmes , which eventually closed because there was a lack of funding. The powers that be including local MP Simon Fell are sitting in their ivory towers, patting each other on their backs for receiving the funding. Why , do they ignore the fact that before this scheme progresses the sea defense needs urgent attention. Not even these supposedly educated people wiill STOP the sea rolling over our beautiful Island. There is so much more that could be done to help deter the serious erosion problem from the North to the South end of Walney Island. We need a proper sea defence wall before it’s too late. I personally would love to see our beautiful Island improved. Morecombe was almost a ghost town, but sensible planning is improving the area. Lovely to see .

By Sheila Stephenson

About time we have waited long enough

By Anonymous

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