A ‘global streetfood experience’ with stalls lining the streets of Dalton Road and Portland Walk was the winning vision for a new project to help revive Barrow’s town centre for young people.
Business students from Furness College have been coming up with innovative ideas to futureproof the town centre for generations, as part of a two-week virtual work experience project in partnership with Barrow BID.
Two groups went head to head on the project with the winning team outlining a plan for ‘streetfood experience’ from local restaurants to enable 16-25 year olds to experience affordable food, music and culture from around the world. The runner up idea was to bring a festive feel to the town centre over four weeks in December with Christmas markets complete with an ice rink to pull in the crowds.
The groups met virtually to work on the projects via Microsoft Teams and were judged by a panel led by BID manager Colin Garnett who said the ideas had the potential to be widely marketed.
“We have been hugely impressed with both teams, their commitment to the project and their enthusiasm for creating a better town centre for younger people,” he said. “I can’t see any reason why the Christmas markets and ice rink idea can’t become a reality in Barrow, we have the population size to support such an event, but we would need to consult with the local community and partners to see if there is a demand for such a large scale event. I loved the idea of combining food, music and culture to create an event and this is something I will explore over the coming months.”
He said if the events go ahead he will invite the students to come on board as volunteers and help market and promote the events to young people.
The overall winning participants were Corinne Dyer, Katie Pettifer, Gemma Hardman, Nicole Sanderson, Olivia Sloan and Sophie Winward. The runners up, who also won the best presentation award, were Paige Athersmith, Fiona Blenkarn, Hannah Wicks, Abbie Kirkbride, Poppi Little and Harrison Turner who delivered their 20-minute pitch professionally, with great flow, demonstrating great research.
The top students, who are both studying business administration at Channelside, were announced as Katie Pettifer and Poppi Little for their great leadership qualities, work input, group engagement and attendance.
Katie Pettifer said it has been a great opportunity and she was pleased to win an award and a reference from the Barrow BID manager.
“By doing this work experience I really pushed myself and I now feel a lot more confident after taking part,” she said. “I learnt a lot of new skills about a business environment which at the start I wasn’t aware of.”
Keith Holmes, the college’s business development lead, said the students performed well under intense questioning from a panel including college staff and Barrow BID management.
“Both groups came up with very different ideas and themes in this programme, which has been hugely successful and helped equip these young individuals with business acumen and aspirations for their own careers.
“I’d like to thank the Furness College WEX team’s Alison Gill and Deborah Gribble, Furness College BEST team administrator Connor Dermody, all of our wonderful guest speakers and our partner Colin Garnett for being a part of this event.”
Other speakers have included Lily Piachaud, of New Constellations, Claire Croskery, of Furness College, Stuart Klosinski, of SandT Klosinski Economic Development Consultants Ltd and MP for Barrow and Furness Simon Fell.