Planning application submitted for Town Centre Regeneration Scheme

A planning application has been submitted for a once-in-a-generation scheme to regenerate part of Barrow’s town centre to ensure it can thrive into the future.

Barrow’s Market Hall is key to a £17.5 million Levelling Up Fund scheme to reinvigorate the building and the public realm that surrounds it to attract more people into the town centre, bringing the community together and boosting the local economy.

Planning permission is now being sought to transform the Duke Street frontage of Barrow’s Market Hall and The Forum to provide the building with a bright, modern look that better reflects its prominent location opposite the Grade II-listed Barrow Town Hall.

The result would be a light-filled destination that offers shopping, activities and entertainment during the daytime and into the evenings.

The plan proposes that an accessible entrance would be created on Duke Street providing a new gateway to both Barrow Market and neighbouring arts and entertainment venue The Forum.

Existing shop units that front Duke Street would be removed to allow sunlight to illuminate further into the market hall so that those passing the building can see the hive of activity within.

The planning proposal would also see improvements to the facades of the building that meet Dalton Road, Paxton Street, Stephen Street and the Portland Walk entrance.

Other proposed changes in the application include:

  • The removal of the pitched roof to The Forum entrance and replacement with flat roof
  • Refurbished entrances and new canopies to all building entrances
  • Solar control glazing added to the Market Hall and The Forum entrances
  • Removal of the steel columns and non-functional elements from the Market Hall and The Forum Duke Street elevation to enhance the setting of the Central Barrow Conservation Area

A spokesperson for Barrow Borough Council said: “This is an opportunity to bring about a positive step change for Barrow’s town centre and what it has to offer to residents and visitors alike.

“This scheme is one of a range of improvements that are underway to transform Duke Street into an attractive and exciting gateway destination that will in turn inject vitality and vibrancy back into the heart of the town.

“The level of engagement in the public consultations has been excellent and has been used to shape the development of the scheme.

“There will be further opportunities to have a say on what the market could offer in the future and we hope people continue to take up these opportunities.”

The plans have been developed by Barrow Borough Council in consultation with the Manchester based design team – Buttress Architects, designers OPEN and engineers WSP – firms which were selected following a competitive tender process.

Feedback from two public consultations has been used to inform both the exterior design scheme led by architects from OPEN, as well as helping to shape proposals for the Market Hall’s interior with Buttress – including what type of food, drink and goods stalls it could offer in the future, events and activities that could take place and space for leisure.

A community hub will also be created in The Forum as part of the #BrilliantBarrow Town Deal along with a pocket park in Stephen Street and space for outdoor events.


If planning permission is approved, work on the building could begin this summer. Market traders would continue to operate from the market hall throughout the course of the planned works.


Ian and Bev Wheddon, who run Mobile Man at Barrow Market, said the plans are great for Barrow.

Mrs Wheddon said: “As a town we are so lucky to have been awarded the funding to improve our already fantastic Market Hall.  Here at Mobile Man we are really looking forward to the exciting times ahead.”

Steve and Wendy Gunning run a number of stalls; Pets Paradise, The Wool Baa, Lillydot Cards and Sweet Floral Paradise.

Mrs Gunning said: “We are looking forward to the new market. The Food Hall will be a great asset to the town. There will be some disruption during the works, but the traders are still open and need your support. So please continue to support us and shop local.”

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