THE council leader for Barrow is hopeful that the high street in the town centre can have a bright future as a task force are being brought in to help devise a plan.

Cllr Ann Thomson said that she has high hopes for the future of Barrow following the successful bid for the Towns Deal, but admitted she had concern for the future of the high street.

"I do worry about the high street and that is why we are bringing in this task force to help us," she said.

"The task force is a group of these high flying people who come up with lots of things that we could do with our high street.

"If we were able to sort these ideas it would be easier to do something if we have ideas ready to go because funding can depend on your ideas.

"Sometimes these pots of money that comes from the Government give you about five weeks to come up with proposals so we want to be ready for next time an opportunity arises.

"The task force will go around the town centre to see what we have already and speak to shoppers as well as business owners then come back with different ideas that could help boost the town."

The council's hope for this would be to make the town a more vibrant place for residents as well as visitors, and Cllr Thomson has expressed her hope that the high street in Barrow could be just as successful as the other projects currently ongoing in the area like the plan for the marina village and the market hall.

The High Streets Task Force has consulted a number of town and city centres across England to find out more about their transformation strategies and help place leaders to address their local challenges and make the most of opportunities.

12 locations have been the first to benefit from an ‘Unlocking your Place Potential’ diagnosis, facilitated by a Task Force Expert, including a three-hour online workshop with key stakeholders from the community and a virtual tour of local high streets. The support examined plans and gathered feedback as well as identifying additional support from the Task Force that will be delivered over the coming months to support high street transformation in the location.

The locations, ranging from Rochdale in the North West to Plymouth in the South West, were part of 70 selected in March as the Task Force’s first cohort of supported high streets. Enthusiasm and engagement from a number of community groups, businesses, councillors and local authority staff has been a key feature of this support as places look to harness their collective effort to deliver new visions for their towns.