A POT of more than £200,000 has been awarded to Barrow Council with the aim of ensuring the borough is ready to welcome back visitors.

The money from the Welcome Back Fund, which has come from the European Union's European Regional Development Fund, must be spent by March 31, 2022.

The cash boost, which comes to a total of £217,717, is due to be discussed at a meeting of the council's executive committee on Wednesday.

In a report produced ahead of the meeting, Steph Cordon, the council's director of people and place, said areas in which the money would be spent included 'temporary improvements to enable safe movement' around communities.

Ms Cordon said this would include 'outside seating areas to support drinking and dining' and testing out the concept of a 'more permanent public realm scheme in Dalton Road' in Barrow.

She said Cumbria Tourism would work with bodies including Barrow Business Improvement District and the borough council to develop marketing materials, campaigns and events to ensure 'shoppers and visitors are encouraged to return to town centres, visitor hotspots and coastal areas'.

"Cumbria Tourism will provide support as part of promoting the borough through engaging with businesses to encourage footfall," she said.

The fund will also support the production of an 'action plan' outlining how the council can safely 'reopen' the economy.

Ms Cordon said the aim of the action plan was to make Barrow a place in which the public would 'want to live, work and invest'.

"The action plan will also identify key activities that will help local businesses," she said.

Recommendations were made to Barrow Council's executive committee in Ms Cordon's report.

The committee was advised to accept the £217,717 in grant funding.

The committee was also advised to agree Ms Cordon be granted the authority to allocate funding in accordance with pre-existing eligibility criteria and proposals.