THE formation of a special team of civil servants and politicians fighting for Barrow could bring further positive developments for Barrow in 2024, it is hoped.

The year 2023 saw the establishment of Team Barrow, a project involving top government civil servants as well as local community leaders.

It has been promised that the team will help the community benefit from the major defence projects under construction in Barrow over the next decade and beyond.

Barrow's MP Simon Fell said the team is working on supporting the area, including by 'changing the perception of Furness'.

He said:  "I've been banging on about the need for something like Team Barrow since early 2020, so I'm delighted that it's now been formed under direction from the PM, and being led by the most senior civil servant in the country.

"This whole project is about two things: ensuring that Furness has the tools required to deliver against the national endeavours that are Dreadnought and SSN-AUKUS, and making sure that the wider community benefits from it.

"I'm determined to make that happen: delivering new homes, improved transport infrastructure, better funding for our GPs, better access to dentists, improvements at Furness General, and a whole host of other commitments too in order to make Furness a place that people from elsewhere want to come and set up their families and work."

Looking at the year ahead, he said: "This is a huge opportunity for us, and I hope next year we'll see a steady drumbeat of announcements as a result."  

Earlier this year Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service, and his team visited the area to meet with bosses at BAE and Westmorland and Furness Council.

According to Mr Fell, the top civil servant began his speech to local leaders saying he was 'imagining a child at St George’s in Barrow... that child will become the successor to the current MD at BAE, delivering the successor to Dreadnought... we need to ensure that that child has the best education, the best healthcare'. 

The visit followed a speech by Michael Gove, the levelling up secretary, who said he wanted Barrow to become a 'new powerhouse for the North'.