A GOVERNMENT minister was given a glimpse inside Barrow's former Debenhams store ahead of its redevelopment.

The former department store is due to form a major part of BAE's Portland Walk campus providing training for apprentices and graduates before they enter the workforce.

Simon Hoare, the minister for local government, joined Barrow MP Simon Fell on a tour of the building during a visit to the town.

He was shown inside the department store, which has now been completely stripped ahead of its transformation into a training centre.

The Mail: An artist's impression looking towards BAE's Portland Walk training centreAn artist's impression looking towards BAE's Portland Walk training centre (Image: BAE)

Mr Hoare praised the 'hugely impressive' work being carried out in Barrow by BAE and the council.

A number of major projects are under way in Barrow following government funding, including the redevelopment of The Forum and Barrow Market.

A new university campus is also being constructed, while hundreds of home are due to form Barrow's Marina Village. 

READ MORE: Major milestone reached in Barrow Marina Village journey

Mr Fell said: "Sometimes you live and breathe something so long that you can’t really see the impact that it’s having.

"And so it was great to take Simon on a journey across Barrow to see what is in the process of being delivered, and what the future holds too.

"We started at the new Careers Inspiration Hub on Portland Walk - delivered by BAE but open to local businesses and groups. It’s the first step in the transformation of the town centre that will put hundreds of workers into the centre of town, delivering the footfall we so desperately need to see."

Mr Fell said he and the minister talked to market stallholders and saw how a pocket park would link the market hall to Dalton Road before heading to Barrow Island and BAE's submarine academy.

He said: "And then we passed on to Barrow Island to see the tenement blocks and discuss their potential renewal before heading to the Submarine Academy to meet apprentice welders and caulkers and to discuss SSN-AUKUS and the Team Barrow programme supporting it.

"Furness is undergoing a tremendous transformation, funded in no small part by investment from the Government into its future, and supercharged by the Dreadnought and AUKUS programmes."