Plan for Portland Walk roof
Last updated at 14:40, Monday, 04 January 2010
PLANS to provide a roof over a main shopping area are gathering pace.
Barrow Borough Council wants to go down the route of funding avenues for the Portland Walk complex.
Council leader councillor Jack Richardson told The Evening Mail that a feasibility study had now been completed.
He said there were initial costings for different types of roofs with an approximate figure of around £1.5m.
Cllr Richardson said: “So many people keep mentioning that it’s time there was a roof on Portland Walk.
“There is a real problem of cover, especially in the winter when the rain is driving down.
“It was initially hoped that the Portland Walk complex would be an arcade, but the costs were too prohibitive at the time.”
Cllr Richardson said that the council would have to look to the likes of the Barrow Regeneration Board and North West Development Agency for funding.
He said: “Hopefully the roof can be included under funding for the general regeneration of the area.”
There have been complaints about the exposure to the elements in Portland Walk ever since the £32m shopping street opened in 1996.
Over the years, the potent mix of bad weather and lack of a roof has left shoppers soaked and windswept.
As a result, there have been repeated calls for the street to be covered, including a town centre survey conducted by the then Barrow Retail Action Group a few years ago.
The council eventually responded by employing consultants to look into the idea last year.
No official member of Barrow Traders Association was available for comment but shopkeepers have generally welcomed the new roof plan.
Kerry Turner, acting branch manager of Waterstone’s, said a roof would create a better shopping environment.
She said: “It would be an absolute boon, particularly for parents and the elderly who keep getting soaked.
“The cost of creating a nicer atmosphere could well be offset in a couple of years.
“One downside with the recession and high costs of rents and rate is that it could mean putting a roof over empty shops.”
First published at 12:58, Monday, 04 January 2010
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Good comments from James P and Terence Coupe. Why is it that these issues are blindingly obvious to 'Joe Barrovian' but completely fail to appear on the RADAR of successive councils and town planners?
Be honest and think about other towns shopping centre and the look at Barrow - enough said. Barrow shopping centre is a joke compared with other towns' well thought out schemes.
What is needed is a complete revamp in Dalton Road. Demolish the lot and build a shopping centre we can be proud of.
We have/are suffering from construction works in Barrow now for five years or more, which in itself, is intolerable.
Plan (consult Public), demolish and build
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