AN AMBITIOUS project to propel Barrow to become the UK's next destination for culture has been boosted a £2m grant.

The town has been given £1,930,691 by Arts Council England to fund Barra Culture, a new programme focussed on creating collaborations, delivering commissions and launching a range of community-led grassroots activity.

A huge celebration festival is also planned in 2023.

The project is due to get underway on November 1 this year.

The Barra Culture team is made up of Women’s Community Matters, Brathay Trust, Natural England, Art Gene, Signal Film and Media, Full of Noises, and Ashton Group Theatre, as well as Cumbria Libraries, and Barrow Borough Council.

The most important thing about the programme for the team is that it will grow alongside the community.

Hundreds of local people and artists helped develop the bid by providing their thoughts and views, coming up with a name for the programme, and demonstrating a huge passion for the town.

Rebecca Rawlings, senior officer of Women’s Community Matters and lead partner organisation of Barra Culture, said: “We are so very excited to be part of this wonderful Arts Council programme.

“To get to this point has been a huge collective effort and we are looking forward to working alongside the community and a range of artists to bring to fruition our plan for Barrow to be the next cultural destination on the map.”

Godfrey Owen, CEO of Brathay Trust stress that 'our plan from the outset is that this programme will change the way Barrovians, as well as others, view our town'.

“We can see Barrow becoming a cultural destination and that is really exciting for us all," he said.

Glenn Boulter, artistic director of Full of Noises said: “This programme will offer the opportunity for us all to work alongside some fabulous world class artists and creators who can help us translate these ideas into creative pieces for others to enjoy and learn from”,

Jane Beardsworth, senior relationship manager at Arts Council England, said: “Congratulations to Barrow on being awarded Creative People and Places funding for their Barra Culture project.

“Barrow as a town has a strong identity which is at the heart of the Barra Culture.

“I look forward to seeing the great work that comes out of the project.”

Barrow council leader Ann Thomson said: "I hope everyone gets involved.

"I am looking forward to seeing the smiles on all the faces of everyone taking part in all the different things that will be organised.”