READERS have shared their outrage as a collection of independent businesses in Barrow are facing closure amid moves by the council to regenerate the town centre.

The ginnel between the bottom of Portland Walk and the top of Dalton Road is due to be 'demolished' as part of the Levelling Up Fund-backed revamp.

The council says it is currently working with three tenants 'to identify options for relocation'.

Angela Edney runs The Candle Box, one of the businesses affected.

She said: "The difficulty is my shop suppliers insist I have a 'bricks and mortar' shop, meaning I am unable to trade on a market stall – the council's intention – as this would diminish the products I sell," she said.

"The council are working with me to find a suitable small shop but we are both at the conclusion that, if it isn't possible, I will have to cease trading."

Eileen Wearing said: “Those poor businesses.”

Amanda Jayne Armstrong said: “I know let's do work on the town but in mean time more and more shops are going to have to close.”

Jacqueline Biggs said: “It’s a joke why don’t they move them into Dalton Road rent and poll tax free for 12 months.”

Ange O'Halloran said: “Why couldn't Barrow Council just buy the Debenhams building and let all the small independent retailers set up shop in there, and put a food court in too for local-run cafes etc.”

Susan Duncan said: “What a shambles this council is… No regards or consultation with the poor traders. They have let Portland Walk become an absolute eyesore as other parts of the town.”

Debbie Reid said: “Absolutely ridiculous I had a conversation with an owner just this week. They really don't know what they are doing.”

Christine Johnson said: “Can they not be relocated? We have lost enough shops without these enforced closures.”

A council spokesman said affected businesses would 'receive compensation in line with the terms of their lease'.

"The council has been engaging with these businesses since the development of the project," said the spokesman.

"Those affected will remain in their premises until after Christmas.

"During that time, the council will provide support for these businesses to relocate to alternative premises."