ALMOST one in four adults in Furness have no qualifications, according to a report by Cumbria Community Foundation.

The charity released 'Furness: Opportunities and Challenges 2021' on Friday and highlighted some challenging issues in the area.

It found that the male suicide rate stands at 26 per 100,000 higher than the UK average of 17.2 and states 29.3 per cent of residents live in areas classed as the 20 per cent most deprived in England.

Additionally, 14.2 per cent of households live in fuel poverty, with parts of Barrow ranked among the one per cent most deprived areas nationally for health and disability outcomes.

However, there are some positives - Barrow is currently the second most affordable place to live in the UK and 51.5 per cent of business start-ups are still trading after five years, with the UK average at 43.2 per cent.

Levels of all types of crimes are lower than the national average and the report says people in Furness are ‘substantially happier’ with their area than the national average.

Barrow MP Simon Fell believes the report highlights a positive future for the area.

He said: “I keep returning to the the title of this report: Opportunities and Challenges. It strikes me that the two are intrinsically linked. That perhaps more than ever, Furness’ future is its own to shape.And we have reasons for optimism. The shipyard has stability and a long order book.

"And elsewhere in Barrow we have secured £25million in Town Deal funding to bring a university campus to town, improve cycling and walking, establish community hubs, and move forward Marina Village.

“In Dalton and Ulverston the Borderlands scheme offers a steady stream of funding to support community assets and bring forward developments.

“Our Levelling Up Fund bid offers a chance to highlight Barrow’s cultural offering, improve the market, and drive footfall back into the town centre.”

Cumbria Community Foundation chief execuitve Andy Beeforth said: “We produced a similar report for West Cumbria which was the focus for funding new partnerships addressing family wellbeing, financial literacy and young people and enterprise.

“The report has been created with the backing of all local councils, a number of business leaders, BAE and charitable funders, and all are committed to positive change for people of the area.”

The report looks at everything from health and unemployment to education and housing, and speaks to people in the public, private and third sectors, from local government to film making to drug treatment.

The impact of the pandemic is covered but is far from the main focus which takes in a wider look at Furness and what the future holds for the region.

To access the report visit: