Ambitious project to create state-of-the-art learning facilities completes second phase

An ambitious project to provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for those studying a range of further education courses in Barrow is on track and entering its final phase.

The Sixth Form, in Rating Lane, Barrow, has undergone a significant programme of works thanks to funding from the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal alongside a grant from the Government’s Further Education Capital Transformation Fund and investment from Furness College.

Phase II of the multi-million pound programme is now complete with refurbished teaching areas, new student wellbeing facilities, an upgraded science area with a specialist physics laboratory and a new textile room in daily use.

In addition, improvements have been made to the heating, ventilation and electrical systems to upgrade the building’s energy efficiency.

Nicola Cove, Principal & CEO of Furness College and a member of the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal Board, said: “This project will make a real and tangible difference to all of the students at The Sixth Form both now and in the future.
“We are delighted with the progress made and the rooms completed so far.

“We know that a positive and inspiring learning environment is an incredibly important aspect of securing excellent outcomes for our students and we’re looking forward to the completion of the project as a whole later this year.”

Barrow secured a Town Deal of £25 million from the Government’s Towns Fund – part of the Levelling Up agenda – in 2022 for a suite of projects designed to help the area to thrive for generations.

The Brilliant Barrow Town Deal Board is now working with Westmorland and Furness Council – as well as partner organisations including Furness College, University of Cumbria and Natural England – to deliver the projects before 2026.

The improvements to The Sixth Form are part of the Barrow Learning Quarter project which aims to create an extra 300 further education places every year, while more than 1,400 places in higher education will also be available thanks to a new University of Cumbria campus on Barrow Island.

Phase III of improvements at The Sixth Form are now underway to provide the final reconfiguration of movement around the building to allow better circulation and improved access.

It will see the creation of a new, welcoming reception area as well as hot desk pods to offer flexible study and working and further flexible study spaces.

Work outside will see the existing landscaping improved and the installation of solar shading to the building.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, the Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council and vice chair of the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal Board, said: “The improvements made so far are quite simply exceptional and will no doubt be welcomed by all of the students who get to enjoy them.

“Delivering a programme as large as the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal is complex and we are working hard to move each of the projects forward.

“It’s great to see this project making such incredible progress and to anticipate the long term benefits it will bring to students and staff at The Sixth Form as well as to Barrow, its communities and the surrounding area for many years to come.”

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