DERELICT land in Barrow is set to be transformed into homes for the vulnerable thanks to a million pound project.

A proposal is set to be put forward to Barrow Borough Council to convert derelict land known as The Lakes House Site on the corner of Dalton Road and Duke Street.

Heading the plans is land owner, Sean Readett, who first purchased the site in 1991 to develop into apartments.

However, the building has lay empty since then while Mr Readett focussed on his other property, The Victoria Hotel in Church Street, which he recently sold.

The hotel was reopened by Mr Readett in January 2002 and became a hostel to help house homeless people in the area. Across 18 years, the hotel welcomed more than 800 people through its doors Now Mr Readett is shifting his efforts towards The Lakes House site which he plans on converting into two blocks of 15 two bedroom apartments to house Barrow’s ‘forgotten generation’.

The 56-year-old said: "I'm ready to submit the plans to Barrow Borough Council - we've finished all the planning and background work.

"I originally thought about building eight semi detached homes but then thought it was best to do flats."

Overall the build is projected to cost close to £1m which Mr Readett hoped would be subsidised by local investors.

"It's disappointing no one came forward after I announced the plans," he said.

"There are a lot of people doing well in the town who could really give back and do something good by helping other people.

"After no one came forward, I decided I would just do it on my own.

"Maybe someone will come forward during the build."

The apartments will be accommodation for those 'needing a leg up' in the town, says Mr Readett.

"I'm trying to put roofs over people's heads and get people back on their feet.

"There's not a lot around in the town which help house those who might need a leg up in life.

"I've got my health and happiness and want to help people however I can.

"I saw the most vulnerable people in society at the Vic over the past 20 years and wanted to help them however I could.

"Everyone deserves a helping hand in life."

The first phase of the project is estimated to take 14 to 16 months.

"I'm aiming to do a lot of the building work myself," Mr Readett said.

"I've got a lot more free time after selling the Vic and feel the time is right now.

"I think the first part of the build will take around 14 to 16 months and a couple of years to finish the whole project.

"It would be shorter if some people decided to invest in the project.

"I'm not interested in making any money out the plans - I want to help people along the way, especially at the moment when people have been struggling so much through Covid."