Love Barrow Town Centre campaign launched

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Promise: Barrow BID partners sign a town centre pledge in the Abbey Road offices of The Mail. From left, Simon Craig, chairman of Barrow BID, MP John Woodcock, Tracey Ingham of Cumbria County Council, Sheenah Alcock of The Mail, Phil Huck of Barrow Borough Council LEANNE BOLGER
Promise: Barrow BID partners sign a town centre pledge in the Abbey Road offices of The Mail. From left, Simon Craig, chairman of Barrow BID, MP John Woodcock, Tracey Ingham of Cumbria County Council, Sheenah Alcock of The Mail, Phil Huck of Barrow Borough Council LEANNE BOLGER
9 August 2017 5:37PM

LEADING figures have joined forces in a bid to clean up Barrow with the aim of turning Dalton Road into an award-winning high street.

Council bosses, politicians, businesses and The Mail have all pledged to play their part in the Love Barrow Town Centre campaign, an ambitious project to improve the area and regain pride in Barrow’s high street.

Led by the Barrow Business Improvement District, known as the BID, the campaign will aim to clean the streets, smarten up shops and street furniture, install hanging baskets and other colourful displays and tackle the age-old problem of litter, seagulls and dog dirt.

BID chairman Simon Craig described how there is “an apathy within the town” despite a widespread tendency to fiercely defend Barrow in the face of external criticism and ridicule.

“Barrow has a reputation of not being as good as what it actually is,” he added at the campaign’s first meeting.

The campaign’s overarching purpose is to enter the 2018 Great British High Streets competition, last won in 2016 by Blackburn.

“If Blackburn can do it then we can too,” businessman Phil Collier said passionately.

One of the agreements reached by those at the meeting, including Barrow Borough Council’s chief executive Phil Huck, Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock, The Mail’s head of content Sheenah Alcock and Tracey Ingram from Cumbria County Council, was that as highlighted by The Mail’s recent focus on litter, improvements could only be made with everyone taking collective responsibility.

The campaign will aim to encourage as many of the town centre’s 55 national retailers to get onboard.

“I'm struck by just how much money is in the area but is not being spent in the area and I'm not convinced we’re maximising what we can get,” MP John Woodcock said, highlighting the volume of contractors staying in Barrow during the week but contributing little to the retail economy.

“The hub of the town centre is critical to the wealth and investment coming into the area but we all have a part to play,” Mr Craig, manager of Marks & Spencer added.

The campaign will now go forward by setting up a series of smaller projects to contribute towards cleaning up the town centre.

ds by setting up a series of smaller projects to contribute towards cleaning up the town centre.

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