A SERIES of proposed projects which could help transform Barrow are highlighted today - as residents are urged to have their say.
They cover everything from improved transport exchanges to new housing developments and moving the long-hoped-for marina development forwards.
Barrow is one of 100 towns selected to bid for £25 million in government cash as part of the Town Deal initiative and must make its case to the government soon.
Steve Cole is the Chief Infrastructure Officer at BAE Systems Submarine Solutions and is also chairman of the Town Deal Bard which has been set up to spearhead Barrow’s bid for the funding.
He said: "The response we have had from the people of Barrow so far has been great.
"Lots of residents and business owners have been keen to have their say on the list of proposals and have given their feedback either through the #BrilliantBarrow website or on social channels.
"We are today shining a spotlight on the list of proposed projects because we want to make sure as many people as possible are aware of what we are trying to achieve for our town.
"There is still time to get involved and I'm today urging anyone who has not had a look at the #BrilliantBarrow website to check it out and make their voice heard.
"This really is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of Barrow."
On Friday, May 15, members of the Town Deal Board will meet to discuss the feedback received from the public to date, and decide which projects from the long list will be immediately moved forward as part of the next stage in the process.
That means time is now running out for residents and business owners of the town to have their say on the initial list of proposals - although views will be welcomed once again, when the shortlist is finalised.
Proposals which do not make the shortlist at this stage will remain a part of the wider investment plan and will continue to be developed over a longer period of time.
The schemes are:
Housing renewal programme
A new housing market renewal programme focused on key areas of need in the town potentially including Barrow Island, Walney and Hindpool/Central. This could include refurbishment, redevelopment, improvements to public spaces and new homes together with complementary skills and training activity.
Town Centre Regeneration fund
A programme of investment to support the regeneration of key buildings within Barrow town centre, to ensure key heritage assets and prominent sites are contributing fully to the economy of Barrow, while maintaining economic vibrancy.
Employment Sites Fund
This fund would provide support to remove barriers which are preventing sites available for employment in Barrow being developed for use by businesses. Barriers include site preparation, provision of access and servicing and removal of contamination.
The site would deliver high quality housing alongside leisure, retail and cultural development. This large scale development would challenge people’s views of central Barrow encouraging people to live and work there. It would add to the range of housing available in the Borough and provide new jobs and leisure opportunities whilst transforming a long term derelict site.
Enhancing Tourism, Leisure & Culture Offer
Building on Barrow’s proud industrial and maritime heritage and the attractiveness of its coastal setting, a programme of events and activities would be delivered to develop the visitor economy in Barrow.
Heat Exchange Network
Development of an Urban Heat Network within Barrow-in-Furness, to capture and recycle excess heat from major employment sites, providing affordable heat to local communities and businesses.
Community Resilience Hubs
To establish a network of local community resilience hubs, where families of all ages, throughout their whole life, can develop their skills and confidence, access services and employment pathways and come together to build thriving communities.
University Campus Development
Creation of a new University Campus in Barrow to support key sectors, including energy and advanced manufacturing, while also supporting diversification of the economy and opportunities within to increase productivity, innovation and competitiveness for small as well as large businesses.
The project is aimed at developing a supportive business environment for Barrow to boost Barrow’s enterprise overall, with a focus on helping the town become a centre of excellence and innovation for advanced manufacturing and clean growth.
As the county’s largest education and training provider Furness College would help meet the area’s need for higher-level advanced academic and technical skills through a new Skills Hub, in partnership with the University of Cumbria.
Modernised Bus Network
The project would transform Barrows bus offer, supporting the delivery of an electric / low carbon buses that would help de-carbonise the town centre and provide improved green transport options. A range of new bus infrastructure would be put i place to support the proposed network of electric buses across the town
Walking and Cycling infrastructure A transformative programme of walking and cycling infrastructure improvements within Barrow, seeing the delivery of a high quality network connecting key nodes to boost health, replace car journeys with short trips on foot or bike and put Barrow at the forefront of active travel in the UK.
Barrow Railway Station
The project would result in enhanced public realm and interchange facilities at Barrow Railway Station. This would improve its role as a key gateway into the town and bring about enhanced connectivity of the station with the wider town.
Through the See More Lake District programme the project would disperse the concentration of visitors through improving connectivity by low carbon modes of transport from Windermere and other key tourism destinations in the Lake District National Park to Barrow.
The Barrow Town Deal relates specifically to the town of Barrow-in-Furness. Alongside this, the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is set to include a Place Programme that will support a number of smaller market and coastal towns across the Borderlands region.
Dalton-in-Furness has been put forward for inclusion in the Place Programme. Detailed work on a Place Plan for Dalton-in-Furness will be starting later in the year and the development of proposals will be supported by community and stakeholder engagement