An ambitious scheme backed by Furness College to transform Barrow for future generations has secured £25 million from the government’s Towns Fund.
#BrilliantBarrow included a series of innovative projects, including an innovative Barrow Learning Quarter, designed to ensure the borough thrives as a great place to live, work and visit.
The funding – from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government – was confirmed today, making Barrow one of the first places in the country to benefit from the scheme.
Furness College and the University of Cumbria are working in partnership on the plan for a Barrow Learning Quarter set to include a university centre, college skills academy and a multi-partner Institute of Technology.
Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, welcomed the news. “This is a pivotal moment for our borough and all those who live and work here. The funding will ensure we are able to move forward into an exciting future through the launch of the innovative new projects identified through #BrilliantBarrow.
“These projects have the potential to generate long term benefits for our communities through opportunities in further and higher education, regeneration and economic prosperity. I’m delighted the government has recognised our ambitions for Barrow with the award of this funding from the Towns Deal.”
Cllr Thomson added: “Developing the proposals took a huge amount of hard work and that will continue now with the detailed further work required for us to draw down this cash from the government.”
Barrow was among 101 towns across the country invited to bid for a share of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund.
A Towns Deal Board was established in the borough earlier this year to bring together representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors who advised on the development of #BrilliantBarrow.
The seven projects included are designed to help shape development and growth in the town for years to come.
- A university-style campus facility offering both further and higher education courses
- A network of community resilience hubs
- A programme of bespoke business support provided to residents, entrepreneurs and SMEs to harness economic opportunities in Barrow
- The development of a calendar of events and festivals to draw people to the area
- A programme of housing renewal
- New cycling and walking infrastructure to allow Barrow to become an active travel town
- Preparations to allow Barrow’s Marina Village to get underway
An extensive consultation process took place prior to the submission of the bid to government with residents and stakeholders in the area.
Detailed business cases for each of the seven projects will now be developed to unlock the promised funding.
Steve Cole, chief infrastructure officer at BAE Systems and chair of the Town Deal Board, said: “This is fantastic news and a huge boost for Barrow. An enormous amount of work went into developing these proposals and engaging with the people of Barrow to make sure their voices were heard.
“We had fantastic levels of feedback and insight from residents of the town which, alongside the excellent work of the #BrilliantBarrow team, enabled us to put forward a very strong bid.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a very bright future for Barrow and we now look forward to developing the various exciting projects under the #BrilliantBarrow initiative and seeing the wider benefits they bring.”