Decision set to be made on Team Barrow funding

A once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver meaningful, long-term change in Barrow is set to take a step forward next week.

Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet will be asked on Tuesday (March 26) to agree in principle the £5 million pledged by government to set up and support the Team Barrow Delivery Board.

The funding is intended to establish the board with associated programme management and governance over the next three years and early masterplanning by Homes England to identify opportunities for growth and regeneration – all with communities and people at the heart of the approach.

Team Barrow is a trilateral partnership between central government, Westmorland and Furness Council, and BAE Systems, aimed at enabling Barrow to be a new “powerhouse for the north”, expanding BAE Systems’ defence capability, supporting energy security, and revitalising Barrow and Furness as a place where people choose to live, work, and thrive.

The partnership was launched by the government’s Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case, in autumn 2023, and a central government deep dive process took place in autumn 2023 to investigate what needed to be done.

The Government’s ongoing commitment to the UK submarine programme and the recent AUKUS announcement will see BAE Systems’ workforce in Barrow grow to 17,000 people. BAE Systems’ submarines site in Barrow is the only facility in the UK with the infrastructure, nuclear site-licence and resources necessary to design and build nuclear submarines.

Projected growth from BAE Systems and future opportunities in the clean energy sector cannot be supported without interventions to address infrastructure issues, how to effectively attract and retain new labour and skills, health inequalities, levels of educational aspiration and attainment, the continued decline of working age population and local deprivation.

The Team Barrow Delivery Board would oversee five workstreams aimed at supporting the attraction and retention of working age population, raising education and skills levels, improving infrastructure, and growing the economy and productivity – economy, masterplanning and place; transport; education, employment and skills; health, equality and wellbeing; and community and social impact.

Cabinet will be asked to agree to accept the funding, subject to the finalisation of contract and funding agreements, and that the council be represented on the Delivery Board by the chief executive.

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