Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Just the boost Furness needs

A GROUP which aims to boost the image of Barrow and the whole of Furness has been launched.

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LAUNCH: some of the members of the Boosting Barrow and Furness Group

The Boosting Barrow and Furness Group is an informal public/private sector partnership, represented by a range of organisations.

It aims to use a network of organisations to help promote the whole of the Furness peninsula, linking Barrow with areas in the Lake District National Park such as Broughton and Coniston.

With two district councils – Barrow Borough, and South Lakeland – two parliamentary seats – Barrow and Furness and Westmorland and Lonsdale (which could be set to change still further with Copeland and Windermere) – the Lake District National Park, and Cumbria County Council, all having jurisdiction over various parts of the area, it’s a complex web of governance.

This group looks to work with those organisations, bringing all the councils together working across the areas for common goals and to look at the way people live their lives.

Jonathan Lee, chairman of the group, said: “Each of those organisations has its own remit and priorities and understandably concentrates on delivering those goals. We want to work with them.

“But also what this group will be doing is celebrating the fact that people’s lives exist outside those geographical or local government boundaries.

“For example if a business in Barrow is looking to recruit into the area why wouldn’t it want to celebrate the fact that within 45 minutes you could be on Coniston Water in the southern Lake District?

“Similarly if someone is looking to relocate to a quieter part of Furness or the southern Lake District for its beauty and tranquility but is worried how a partner, family member or children might settle, why wouldn’t you want to shout about all the diverse opportunities that the larger communities, such as Barrow or Ulverston, have to offer?

“This group works across all those invisible boundaries to celebrate how people in this area live their lives. They might be into the arts and love all the festivals and events on in Ulverston. Or they might work on world-class engineering and energy projects in Barrow and other parts of Furness.

“It’s about embracing the area as a whole, celebrating what we have to offer here, and hopefully campaigning for improvements as well. It’s about changing perceptions, both internally and externally.

“Stand on Barrow Golf Course, take a look across the Duddon Estuary to Black Combe and the Lake District hills, and tell people that’s the view from Barrow – many people wouldn’t believe it.

“The Love Barrow campaign has worked wonders for Barrow.

“And this group looks to continue that good work and continue to change perceptions, not just about Barrow, but the whole of the Furness peninsula.

“The energy, and informal nature of the group is such that groups of individuals get together away from any meetings and push forward on initiatives and projects with other different stakeholders.

“It means that at meetings people are reporting in on progress being made – all with the common goal of improving an area we all already love.”

Furness MP John Woodcock backed the initiative and said: “Boosting Barrow and Furness is an important initiative that can show leadership in helping the Furness area reach its potential in these difficult times when many avenues of support are being withdrawn or reduced.

“The diverse parts of this great peninsula have so much to attract income from tourism – I am particularly keen that wedevelop fresh ways for different parts of Furness to work more closely together to attract visitors.

“We should start viewing the great contrasts within Furness as part of our unique strength rather than a barrier to overcome.”

  • Boosting Barrow and Furness wants to hear from you.

The group has launched a Facebook group with an opportunity to interact and share ideas – visit http://tinyurl.com/3w2p52m

Alternatively to get involved in projects which meet the group’s mission statement email jonathan.lee@cnmedia.co.uk

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