BARROW’S future is looking bright.
The paper is upbeat about Barrow’s prospects and analysed the recent house price boom.
The Times said: “Barrow-in-Furness, in prime position on Cumbria’s “Energy Coast”, is definitely having a moment.
“The buzz is coming from its proximity to Sellafield, the transformation of its former industrial port into ‘the Waterfront’, a £200m marina, business park and housing scheme, and its MP, John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, who is well-placed to talk the town up.
“Now comes the news that BAE Systems, a local employer, has won the contract to build two super aircraft carriers, creating at least 900 jobs. This is a prime example of the unusual regeneration process in ‘Barrow.’”
The Times acknowledged that the comeback of the town was not happening through “cappuccino bars” and “lifestyle hype”, but with hard economic investment.
For example, it said, millions of pounds were being poured into the town, such as the £40m shipbuilding hall, which will be created by BAE for carrier and other work.
The paper said Barrow had suffered in the past because of isolation.
The Times added: “So it is ironic that cutting-edge manufacturing and the latest forms of energy are underpinning the turnaround in its fortunes; this marks Barrow out from other regenerating towns that have relied on financial services and retail to underpin their economies and are now suffering.”
Using figures from the Land Registry, the paper said year-on-year house prices in Barrow have risen 11 per cent, and are now on average £111,588 compared with the national average is £183,626.
Terraced houses have had the most significant price rise at 33 per cent, but over the past year, the volume of sales across all properties had dropped by more than 50 per cent and semi prices had dropped 18 per cent to an average £130,000.
There are currently 581 properties for sale in Barrow, 219 of them costing under £100,000.
David Corrie, head of property at Poole Townsend estate agents, was optimistic that the area has it has its own property micro-climate.
He said most families moving into the area want a brand-new property, and are willing to spend between £250,000 and £275,000.
The article also claimed the average price of a flat in Barrow in 2000 was £23,000 but is now £80,000, while the average price of a terraced house in Barrow in 2000 was £25,000 and is now £91,000.