£25 million awarded to Barrow-in-Furness to develop learning quarter

As part of its Town Deal programme, the Government has now confirmed that the full amount of £25 million has been awarded to Barrow-in-Furness, enabling the town to take forward seven schemes that are set to secure a bright and transformative future in Barrow for generations to come.

The largest and most ambitious of these schemes is the Barrow Learning Quarter which will see the creation of a transformational new University of Cumbria campus in the centre of Barrow, as well as the transformation of Furness College’s sixth form on its current Rating Lane site.

A partnership between the University of Cumbria, Furness College, the Borough Council, BAE Systems, and local businesses, BLQ will enhance progression into and participation in Higher Education in Barrow-in-Furness. With the funding now secured, the university and its partners can take the next steps to deliver this exciting project.

Working closely with key employers, the new Barrow Learning Quarter will facilitate the delivery of Higher Education locally, focusing on developing higher-level skills that are in demand from the advanced manufacturing businesses in and around Barrow and south-west Cumbria.

University of Cumbria Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell is delighted with the news and said: “A new Learning Quarter in Barrow will see the creation of a new university campus at its heart and help transform the town for future generations.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform education in Barrow, and now that the funding has been confirmed, we can take the next steps.

“Working with our partners, we will create a Learning Quarter – in, for and from Barrow, and truly realise our collective potential.”

Furness College Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren said: “We are delighted to secure a share of this funding that will enable us to carry out a significant transformation of Barrow Sixth Form at its Rating Lane campus.

“Investment in this specialist campus is very welcome as we seek to create invigorating new spaces within an established building that suit the educational and study needs of our students today.

“Our sixth form is the number one choice for school leavers in South Cumbria who come to study A-Levels, CTECs and new T Levels, and our campus has a long track record of success in helping students progress into university education, higher and degree apprenticeships, and employment.

“We will be working closely with our education partners, including the project-lead at the University of Cumbria, on the Learning Quarter Project to ensure the young people of this town benefit from all the opportunities this will bring.”

The next stage of the project is to successfully complete the planning application process. It is expected that the main construction work will begin later this year, with completion forecasted for late spring 2024.

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