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Copeland Borough Council

Iron Line, Millom, Cumbria

Publication Platform

Publication Date
21 September 2021

12:00pm, 21 October 2021

Tender ID

Copeland Borough Council (CBC), led by the Millom Town Deal Board, is delighted to have been awarded a sizeable grant from the government's Town Deal, to deliver a transformational programme of investment and development for the Millom and Haverigg area. The purpose of the funding is to drive long term economic and productivity growth, through investment in connectivity, land use, economic assets (including cultural assets), skills and enterprise infrastructure.Millom is a peninsular town in South West Cumbria. Together with the adjacent coastal settlement of Haverigg, it is home to 7,300 residents and serves a large rural catchment of some 11,500 residents. Millom's growth was founded on the discovery of iron ore in Hodbarrow in the mid 19th Century, however since the closure of the mines in 1968, the town has been left without a clear economic purpose. Today, Millom is struggling to maintain a vibrant and viable town centre offer. It is the intention to use the Town Deal grant to facilitate economic growth, through a place making initiative celebrating the town's exceptional natural environment, and so, underpin a thriving and resilient community through sensitive public realm design, heritage, and culture.Millom has a unique and breathtaking setting, framed by the Lake District fells, the Duddon Estuary and the Irish Sea. It is this natural setting and the industrial heritage of the iron works at Hodbarrow that are the catalysts for ambitious plans to drive sustainable economic growth across the area, by creating thriving independent businesses and a distinctive culture, arts and tourism offer, in close proximity to the UNESCO heritage site that is the Lake District National Park.The awarded funding is for four interlinked projects, each of which has been selected by the local community, which together form the Town Investment Plan:1. The Iron Line2. Reactivating heritage buildings3. Activating community health4. Connecting Millom and HaveriggThis competition addresses one of these projects: the Iron Line.The Iron Line is conceived as one element in South Copeland's tourism offer, a day out for visitors but somewhere to return to because of its natural beauty and the quality of its educational and commercial offers. The aim of the Iron Line is to transform the area around the unique coastal lagoon at Millom into a recreational attraction that fuses ecology,heritage and culture within this fully inclusive natural green space.As a point of difference, the project must embellish and support Millom's reputation as a fully accessible place to visit, work and live, facilitating health and wellbeing within the local population and helping to attract the 'purple pound' with a positive approach to accessibility for all. The Iron Line will target all ages and provide a multi-sensory experience so everyone can participate and enjoy the unique setting.However, perhaps the most important issue for any design team will be the balance between nature and humans - how can the critical need for economic prosperity and development to support the local population be balanced with the sanctity of the natural setting on this important piece of England's natural coastline.