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15 October 2020

Have your say on county council’s £1.4m investment in important Barrow building

Cumbria County Council is investing £1.4m to improve an iconic and much-loved local landmark building in Barrow.

Members of the county council’s Local Committee for Barrow developed the proposals and secured the funding required to carry out the project.

Barrow Local Committee is committed to driving this exciting project forward which involves a major revamp of one of Barrow’s finest buildings. We are excited to hear what local people have to say about our plans for improving local services in our area.

To make sure the building best serves the needs and interests of the local community, the council is seeking the public’s help to shape the exciting plans for the Barrow Library and Archives building in Ramsden Square.

Alongside the core offer of libraries and archives, the council is investing to make the building more flexible, safer and able to provide a range of new and exciting services.

The new services will include adult education classes, an exciting new event space, and a brand new dedicated teen zone, with a separate children's area, complete with its own ship!

To help inform the initial plans, the council has already undertaken some customer research (July 2020), and following this feedback, new proposals have been developed which we are seeking feedback on.

The draft plans are included in this discussion booklet (pdf 2.74MB) (also available to download from the county council website), allowing you, your friends and your family to have your say on the proposals.

As the building will provide a brand new 'one stop shop' for council services, we are also looking for inspiration for a new name. Different councils call their 'one stop shops' different things - but we want to hear your thoughts and ideas.

We also need you to tell us what other things you would like to see on offer from this building - what would be useful to you and how would you like to use it? This could include things like a space to run your own groups or activities, more technology available to try out, more clubs and societies etc.

To let us know, please take this short survey (you can also find a link on the county council website):

Complete the survey

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said:

“I am delighted that Barrow has been selected as the home of our first flagship customer contact building. As such we are making a significant investment into the Barrow Library building to make it a more flexible space from which we can provide a wide range of services and facilities. This investment will also help protect the future of this historic building now and for generations to come. As well as the services that customers already enjoy - such as libraries and archives - following the building refurbishment we will also be offering new services and facilities such as adult education courses, a new teen zone and a dedicated autism room. These changes are very exciting but we want to make sure we get them right which is why we have produced this engagement as a way for you to have your say on the changes being proposed. I look forward to reading all your comments soon.”

Cllr Janet Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue, said:

“Cumbria County Council is committed to putting customers at the heart of everything we do and this project is an exciting step forward to improving our customer offer to the people of Barrow. We want to ensure that our plans truly reflect the needs and aspirations of the our users and the local community. That is why it is so important for you to have your say and tell us what you think of our plans, as well as having the opportunity to share with us your own thoughts and ideas. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

Cumbria County Council is investing £1.4m to improve an iconic and much-loved local landmark building in Barrow.