Deprived Barrow area has its say on £3.4m vision
Last updated at 16:47, Tuesday, 11 March 2014
A PUBLIC drop-in event for a scheme to regenerate a deprived area in Barrow received enormous support.
The session was organised for people to comment on plans to rejuvenate open spaces around the flats of Schooner Street, Steamer Street and Barque Street on Barrow Island.
For the initial stage, around £1m from the government’s Clusters of Empty Homes Fund will be invested in a landscaping project to breathe new life into the neighbourhood. A further £2.4m will be spent externally on surrounding flats, subject to the finalising of a deal with a prospective new landlord.
The event was hosted by Farrer Huxley Associates and James Smith, the team selected to design the project, in the Barrow Island Drop-in Centre. Around only 90 of the 460 privately owned flats are occupied. It is hoped that improving the neighbourhood can act as a stimulus to attract new tenants and rebuild the community.
Noel Farrer, director of Farrer Huxley Associates, said: “The idea is we’re changing first impressions of what people think when they come here. We are changing hearts and minds so they’re not thinking this is a place that doesn’t feel safe, doesn’t feel attractive and feels run down; but a place that feels the opposite.
“What’s come through in consultation is that Barrow Island is a sorely neglected part of Barrow. The people of Barrow Island feel that and perhaps within the tenements most of all.”
The team door-knocked and heard from residents, councillors and the prospective new landlord of the flats. The planning application will be submitted at the start of April, before starting work in July and completeting it later this year.
Mr Farrer said the neighbourhood had been a target for anti-social behaviour, but insisted there was no reason the transformation could not be maintained if the community and stakeholders took ownership.
Mr Smith said: “Having talked to the residents of the flats, it’s a knock-on effect. If other people are out there socialising, they will go out and use it as well. It’s encouraging people to use the spaces in a proper, responsible, normal way. And that’s the force that’s going to drive away the anti-social activity.”
First published at 16:43, Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
This is just another waste of Coucil tax payers money. Until the root cause of why Barrow Island is the place it is today is tackled head on and resolved, this will just turn into another vandalised unsafe area, used to drink, smoke pot and pedal drugs.
The police/council need to rid the place of the vermin that have all but destroyed the community on the Island, then, and only then, think about regeneration.
Noel Farrer says âThe idea is weâre changing first impressions of what people think when they come here. We are changing hearts and minds so theyâre not thinking this is a place that doesnât feel safe, doesnât feel attractive and feels run down.
Unfortunately Mr Farrer, that's exactly what you'll have created within months of the completion of this project.
You really do have no idea what you are about to do. Most of the cash will go on consultation and planning with a dribble left for a few trees and a bit of block paving Pockets will be lined and palms greased, but when the dust finally settles and the money runs out, it will still just be barrow island flats where all roads lead to nowhere. I really hope I'm wrong but history has a nasty way of repeating itself especially in Barrow!!
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