NW Evening Mail, 6 January 2010
The most ambitious development is the £200m marina scheme, which is awaiting government approval. The marina development includes plans for a 650-home marina village. Barrow Regeneration is leading the scheme, and programme director Bob Pointing believes it could get the go-ahead by May this year.
He said: “We’ve got a business plan in place for the whole marina and marina village scheme showing public funding that will be needed for it.
“That is being prepared and being appraised so that will go to HM Treasury for approval.
“We’re aiming to get the approval before the general election.”
The project – funded by the Northwest Development Agency and the Homes and Communities Agency – could come to life over the next two years.
Mr Pointing confirmed Barrow Regeneration has agreed a master plan and made most of the land purchases needed but there is still an issue regarding land required. He also confirmed the scope of the scheme has had to be slightly scaled down.
He said: “Times are a bit hard at the moment in terms of public funding so we’ve reduced the overall cost of the scheme.
“The big cost factor is the new canal that is needed so we’ve reduced the specification on that slightly to get the cost down to a level where it can be approved.”
A three phase business park is also under construction on old dockland on Barrow Island. Mr Pointing said that the first phase of the layout of the business park – now being rebranded as Energy Coast Business Park – is complete and a new link road called Harding Rise leading to the docks from Michaelson Road is weeks away from opening.
The first development on the site is likely to be started by Barrow Borough Council this year.
Mr Pointing said: “The roads are already in place and with the completion of the link road behind Tesco the whole infrastructure will be there to take the extra traffic generated.
“All the infrastructure around Ramsden Business Park is complete. Roads, roundabouts, the sites are ready to build on.
“We hope to complete the Waterfront Business Park over the next two years which would greatly benefit Barrow. In spite of the recession, I think things are looking pretty positive for Barrow at the moment.”
Mr Pointing also confirmed the regeneration work taking place in Barrow town centre will be completed by September.
Carlisle-based Storey Construction is the lead developer for the Marina Village and Marina Development project. Project manager Ian Storey said: “It is a big, big scheme.
“The marina is a fantastic opportunity for the town.
“It would be fantastic for Barrow and it is something that we are very keen to be involved with.
“It is something very positive and we do hope that it happens.”
Two other major build projects are due to be completed within the town this year, including the new apartment block being built in Holker Street and a row of six new terraced houses in Greengate Street.
A spokeswoman for Bramhall Construction Group – which is in charge of the Holker Street build – confirmed the project is still on schedule for a June completion, despite bad weather causing a slight delay in plans.
She said: “The roofing is going on now.
“It was supposed to go on before Christmas but was delayed due to snow fall.
“Mechanical and electrical fit outs have now been installed on the insides and the first set of windows have been installed on the first two floors.
“The next set of windows are due to be fitted next week.
“The apartments are due to be completed before the end of June.”
Ian Holmes of the Accent Group is the project manager for the £800,000 Greengate Street project.
He confirmed the foundation work for the properties was carried out before Christmas.
He said: “The project is progressing well.
“ We’ve been a bit unfortunate with the weather but that is not to say we won’t strive to reach contract completion.
“Everything is on plan for the July completion. We are still pleased to be partnering Barrow Borough Council and providing socially rented property for local people.”