Barrow's landmark Marina Village is a step closer today after a government minister showed his support for the scheme.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock has received confirmation from Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, that he supports the development.

Mr Woodcock said: “I am delighted to secure this green light from the housing secretary to make the flagship Marina Village a reality at long last.

“After being able to rescue the project from the deep freeze earlier this year, we have been stuck over the scale of money that Homes England were able to grant to help us decontaminate the former industrial land on which it will be built.

“This letter shows we have successfully won the argument that the Marina Village is a special case because of the positive impact it can have on attracting and retaining the workers Barrow needs for the national endeavour of completing the Dreadnought programme on time.

“I am looking forward to working with the council to seal the deal in the coming weeks.”

It comes after a delegation from Barrow Borough Council has been working behind the scenes with Homes England to secure funding for the scheme. The council has been pleased with the positive, supportive and proactive approach from Homes England towards the development.

Homes England is set to make its decision on funding the first phase of the development for 450 homes to be built on a 12-hectare site between Buccleuch and Cavendish docks.

BAE Systems has given its public support to the scheme which is seen as having major economic benefits to the whole area.

Councillor Ann Thomson, Leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “The Marina Village will deliver 450 high quality, mixed homes close to the town centre which will encourage more people to come to live and settle in Barrow.

“Those people will spend more money in the town which will have a wider knock-on economic benefit for the Furness area.

“After so many years of work to get the Marina Village development to this stage, the time is now right to make it a reality.

“BAE Systems is supportive, given its work on the Dreadnought programme, we have the Future High Streets fund coming through, it’s a real positive time for Barrow and the Marina Village development, and the quality environment it will create, will help change perceptions of the town and be an economic driver for the whole area.”

The council recently agreed to spend a further £650,000 towards costs involved in preparing the site for development as once the funding decision is made the money needs to be spent on building the homes by March 2021.

The funding decision is expected to be made within the next few weeks