SHOPS in Barrow town centre have been demolished ahead of a major refurbishment of Barrow Market.

Shop units that previously lined The Ginnel off Dalton Road have now been reduced to rubble after demolition started at the end of last year.

The space left is due to become a pocket park and is part of the  £17.5 million development of Barrow Market Hall.

Enhanced public realm features have also been promised, which will further 'boost and enhance' the rejuvenated town centre.

The Ginnel was home to shops including Got It Covered, which has moved out a new premises nearby on Dalton Road.

Early work is taking place ahead of the major market regeneration.

Under the scheme, The Market Hall, The Forum and the urban spaces that surround it will be modernised as part of Westmorland and Furness Council’s project using Levelling Up Fund cash.

A new destination with food, shopping and experiences at its heart is due to be created under the plans.

It is hoped the market refurbishment and BAE's new Portland Walk campus will boost footfall in Barrow town centre.

A new temporary market will be created away from the present market hall while work to remove asbestos take place.

The decision came after concerns were raised by market traders about operating close to where removal works were taking place which they thought could impact significantly on footfall.

Councillor Virginia Taylor, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Sustainable Communities and Localities, said last year: "This work is a crucial component of regeneration of the market, The Forum and the surrounding public realm and I am really looking forward to seeing this particular area opened up and developed into something residents, shoppers and visitors will appreciate.

"Our wider Levelling Up project is tremendously exciting for Barrow and demonstrates Westmorland and Furness Council's commitment to working with communities to support them in shaping their own destiny and thriving.

"The future is looking bright for Barrow and we are proud to be playing a large part in driving that forward."