A BOLD proposal to transform Barrow town centre is today being submitted to the Government in a bid for £25m in funding for the project.

Barrow Borough Council has also released a new visual showing for the first time what the town’s indoor market could look like to coincide with the submission.

£1bn is being offered by the Government to drive regional growth across England.

Cllr Ann Thomson, leader of the borough council, said: “Barrow Indoor Market is already a fantastic incubator for independent businesses across the area.

“The 3D image is really exciting because it shows what could be achieved if we secure the money we need through the Government’s ‘Future High Streets Fund’.

“The building would undergo improvements inside and out, offering better facilities for traders and customers, a contemporary look, lots of natural light and the creation of a new food hall.

“Along with the other elements of the bid - improved connectivity for public transport, changing the way we use Barrow Town Hall and transforming the town square - we have an incredible opportunity to regenerate our town centre so it draws in residents, encourages new and existing businesses and attracts visitors for years to come.”

The 3D image was generally well-received when it was posted to the Barrow Borough Council Facebook page. Among the commenters was Elizabeth Kirkby, who said: “Love the shared eating areas! Would be great if the market was open later in the evening to soak up the atmosphere.”

Jacqui Armstrong said: “Exciting plans to transform and future-proof our town centre and market hall for many more years to come. Keeping shopping ‘real’ for many more generations to enjoy a vibrant, socially rewarding and personal shopping experience that you just can’t possibly buy online. Barrow deserves this funding.”

However, Chris Grennell said: “That money would be better off being spent in the rest of the town centre. I for one very rarely go into Barrow market so even if it got this new look it wouldn’t inspire me to shop there.

“Sorry but times have changed and markets, like the high street shops, are dying unfortunately.”

The borough council’s submission includes a ‘central transit hub’ to improve the area’s connectivity, as well as a plan to transform Barrow Town Hall into a ‘community hub’ which would have a public reception area and would host weddings and exhibitions. The proposal also includes transformation of the town square into a ‘high-quality public space’ with a play park, gardens and an events area.