The first phase of work to create Barrow’s Marina Village has been launched.
Barrow Borough Council, working with Cumbria County Council, has obtained planning approval for site remediation works.
Cumbria County Council has £5.5m from the government’s building fund, administered by Cumbria LEP, to carry out the work.
County Council has appointed Thomas Armstrong Ltd, based in Flimby, near Maryport, to clean and decontaminate the first six hectares of the 26-hectare former industrial site in the heart of the city, unlocking it for development so that it can continue to accommodate up to 650 homes.
Work is expected to begin in the spring and end in the winter.
Further phases of Marina Village will be funded by #BrilliantBarrow – an ambitious scheme which has secured an offer of £25million in regeneration funding from the government’s Cities Fund for seven ambitious projects in the city.
Ann Thomson, leader of Barrow Borough Council and board member of #BrilliantBarrow, said: “Preparing a site like Marina Village is a long and complicated process.
“Having this building permit in place is an important step in transforming this place from an abandoned lot to a thriving community in the heart of the city.”
Councilor David Southward, Cabinet Member of Cumbria County Council for Economic Development, said: ‘I am delighted that the county council is supporting Barrow Borough Council to make progress on the clean up and allow work on the first phase of this key strategic housing site in Barrow.
“These works will make a six-hectare section of the site mature and ready for the development of new homes to be built. Marina Village is a popular part of town and conveniently located near major employers, schools and colleges and sustainable transport links.
The planning permission in place will allow the demolition of existing buildings on the site, while underground structures can also be removed.
A suitable pad for future construction can be created, oil and groundwater testing can take place, and landscaping and planting areas can be installed.
Work to relocate species such as slowworms and common lizards to designated conservation areas was also undertaken prior to restoration work.
As each phase of the site is completed, it will be marketed to private developers who can make proposals for new homes.
Barrow Borough Council is working with Homes England, the government housing agency and wider partners to identify funding for phase two of the work.