TOURISTS in motorhomes and campervans can now stay overnight free of charge at a number of car parks owned by Barrow Borough Council.

It is hoped the move will encourage visitors to stay in Furness for longer and spend money in local businesses.

Cllr Ann Thomson, leader of the borough council, said: “Our borough is filled with historic and listed buildings, a beautiful, protected coastline, unique islands and fantastic wildlife – including Cumbria’s only seal colony.

“This is not to mention our proud industrial heritage which has made such a vital and important contribution to the character of the area.

“We have excellent local businesses that have endured a difficult time over the last 18 months.

“We know we need to do all we can to attract trade and custom to our borough.”

Caravanners can now stay overnight at a total of four sites in Barrow – at Barrow Park, Furness Abbey, and at Biggar Bank and the layby at Thorny Nook on Walney.

In July, Cumbria Tourism began raising the profile of a newly-designated 200-mile Cumbrian coastal route (CCR) with the aim of encouraging motorhome users to explore lesser-known parts of the county.

The ‘CCR200’ route is split into smaller sections, all do-able in a single day. It aims to show there is ‘more to Cumbria than meets the eye’ – whether that's in Morecambe Bay in the south or the Solway Firth in the north.

The move to allow caravanners to stay overnight in car parks in Barrow is the latest stage of the project.

Cllr Thomson said: “Barrow itself has more than 200 listed buildings while the borough is home to a protected coastline, four designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), sand dunes and beaches, as well as fantastic attractions like Furness Abbey and the Dock Museum.

“Many visitors want to explore some of the lesser-known but no less special parts of our county and this is a great opportunity to be able to welcome them to the area.”

Cllr Thomson said one of the council’s priorities was ‘to nurture our visitor economy’ by ‘making sure people are aware of the fantastic attractions we have here’.

She said the CCR200 project would ‘help us to do just that’.

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