BARROW Council is working on a bid to receive a share of £220 million fund to improve the fortunes of deprived communities.

Council chiefs want to secure government cash to boost the town as it recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

And a project called The Barrow Way is being planned to boost employment, skills and footfall in the town.

The council is awaiting approval of a bid for a £1 million share of the UK Community Renewal Fund.

Some £800,000 of that money is due to be invested into skills development and community and place. A further £326,000 is due to be put into supporting people into employment, while £34,000 is to be invested into local business.

A statement outlining the proposal said: “The Barrow Way commits to putting residents at the heart of all activities led by a coalition of statutory partners and local leaders. The approach emphasises sharing of assets so that all residents can contribute to society in tangible ways.

"The Barrow Way aims to empower Barrow residents with the knowledge, skills and confidence to access and benefit from services which are based on need.

“The short-term benefits include enhanced community cohesion and empowerment and will drive longer-term benefits including improved levels of health, wellbeing, employability and skills targeted to residents who are most in need of support.

“This project will have a longer-term impact, creating the right conditions for Barrow to recover more quickly from the pandemic and ensure readiness to respond to the launch of Shared Prosperity Funding, thereby maximising impact and the development of tailored solutions.”

The project wants to ‘diversify’ the local economy amid reliance on employment at BAE and Furness General Hospital.

It is hoped the project will get 840 more people into education, training or employment.

According to documents, the project could start in September if the bid is accepted.

The documents added: “The Barrow Way sets out to gather the gifts, skills and assets of Barrow’s residents, by trialling a community-led approach as a new way of using what is available to benefit everyone.

“This will also encourage families and residents to share their ideas, connect with others and receive support to enable them to access training, small amounts of finance and mentoring to grow and develop, thus supporting our economy and growing local talent.”

The bid is due to be discussed by councillors at a meeting of council’s executive committee on Wednesday.

Describing the fund, the Government said: “The UK government is providing an additional £220 million funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.

“This fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK.”