A RANGE of exciting projects that make up the #BrilliantBarrow initiative have entered a crucial stage in the process towards unlocking a promised £25 million in Government funding.

The town is in line to secure the maximum award from the Government’s £3.6 billion Town Deal fund for seven ambitious schemes that are set to secure a bright and transformative future in Barrow for generations to come.

Work to complete formal business cases for each project is complete – with each now going through a strict assurance process so that final project details can be submitted back to the Government later this year.

Steve Cole, chair of the #BrilliantBarrow board and Chief Infrastructure Officer at BAE Systems Ltd, said: “The completion of the business cases is a huge achievement and testament to the hard work of all those involved over the last 12 months.

“Now, each business case is subject to a rigorous assurance process so we can be certain the projects are robust, supported by the community and financially sustainable in the long term.

“We are very close to the next big step in the Town Deal process which is to submit the information required back to the Government for assessment.”

The Government’s Towns Deal Initiative was launched in 2019 to support economic regeneration across the country and to encourage long term productivity and growth as part of its Levelling Up agenda.

Barrow was one of the first towns in the country to secure an offer of £25 million from the fund. 

#BrilliantBarrow is made up of seven individual projects: 

  • Barrow Learning Quarter – the creation of a new university campus in the centre of Barrow to offer a range of higher education courses as well as extended further education provision at Furness College’s Rating Lane site.
  • Community Wellbeing Hubs – The development of hubs that sit at the heart of communities where families of all ages throughout their whole life can access support in a way that works for them. There will also be a new outdoor community hub and learning centre at Earnse Bay.
  • Place Development – A project to develop locations in the town that can be used to support events, festivals and cultural activities that bring the community together and encourage people to visit Barrow.
  • Housing Renewal – A programme of housing renewal focussed on key neighbourhoods to improve homes and make them more energy efficient.
  • Business support – A project aimed at developing a supportive business environment 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.
  • Marina Village – A remediation scheme to prepare the key brownfield site for the private sector so that it can deliver a mix of high quality homes that sit side by side with wildlife habitats.
  • Cycling and Walking Infrastructure – Dedicated cycling and walking routes in Barrow to make active travel an easy choice for all residents and visitors providing a long term health and wellbeing boost.

Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council and a member of the #BrilliantBarrow board, said: “All seven projects are incredibly exciting and have the potential to transform the future for our communities in so many ways. 

“Securing money for regeneration is a long and complicated process but we have reached another important step on the journey now that the business cases are in the assurance stage. 

“We’re getting ever closer to seeing these projects come to life which is something I’m very much looking forward to.”




Notes to Editors

On July 27, 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth. See further details of the announcement: PM speech at Manchester Science and Industry Museum – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Barrow was one of the first towns in the country to secure an offer of £25 million in government cash as part of the Town Deal initiative.


A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between government, the Lead Council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision. See the 101 places being supported to develop Town Deals: list-of-100-places.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)


A Town Deal Board involving a range of local public and private sector partners has been created to lead the work.



Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19. View a list of accelerated funding by place: towns-fund-accelerated-funding-grants.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)