BARROW’S Business Improvement District has unveiled a plan to make the town centre ‘busier, brighter and better’.

The group has set out its vision to help the town centre as it seeks to be renewed for another five years by members.

A five-year business plan has been submitted to Barrow Council, with councillors due to discuss whether to agree the proposals ahead of a formal ballot of businesses.

In a statement submitted as part of the plan, BID manager Colin Garnett put forward his vision for a town centre ‘we can be proud to call our own’ and help traders recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “It is vital that Barrow has a business improvement district to regenerate, revitalise and transform Barrow town centre into a town for future generations.

“We must safeguard the businesses located in the town centre, improve the perception of the town as a destination, increase footfall and improve the visitor offer through a series of events, initiatives and projects.

“In the past 12 months we have seen more high-street businesses switching to online sales only and cafes, restaurants and independent businesses adapting to the situation by increasing click and collect and delivery services. Barrow BID will be required more than ever to assist businesses to bounce back following the economic effects of the Covid pandemic and we will be tasked with promoting the town as a safe and welcoming destination to visit.

"As a proud Barrovian I want to work with local businesses to create a town centre which will be fit for purpose for future generations; becoming a hub for social interaction, shopping, food, drink, leisure, working, living and playing."

Mr Garnett added: “I am excited at the prospect of bringing large-scale, quality events to Barrow and making the town a family-friendly destination.

“Without Barrow BID, who will shoulder responsibility to promote the town, support the businesses, lobby the local authorities and the government, deliver on projects and promises and be passionate about making Barrow town centre busier, brighter and better?”

The BID was established in 2016, with its first five-year term due to come to an end on August 31.

Members of the town centre trade group will have the chance to cast a ballot on whether they want to continue to be part of the group, which requires traders to pay a levy.

Mr Garnett previously unveiled an ambitious plan to transform a section of Dalton Road if the group was renewed for another term.

The BID is planning to turn the bottom section of Dalton Road into a ‘garden street’, with greenery and covered outdoor dining areas.

Barrow BID bosses said the project could come into fruition as early as 2022.

‘Aspiration’ drawings of the project have been published by the group.