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SUBMISSIONS from national and international landscape and architectural designers hoping to be selected to work on Millom’s ambitious Iron Line project are to form part of a public showcase this weekend.
Working alongside Copeland Borough Council, the Millom Town Deal Board secured an offer of £20.6 million from the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund initiative in July for projects it identified as local priorities.
Last month, a global search was launched to find a design team to draw together outline ideas for one of these projects – The Iron Line – which will see the uniquely beautiful sea wall and coastal lagoon sensitively transformed into an inspirational and fully inclusive, nationally significant route across RSPB Hodbarrow.
Now, submissions received by the closing date are set to be showcased at Millom Heritage and Arts Centre from this Saturday, October 23 until Sunday, October 24, so that members of the public can view them and share their thoughts. The submissions will also be available to view on the Millom Town Deal Facebook page.
In addition to the public showcase, a competition for both primary and secondary school children in the area has been launched – with young people invited to design a logo for the Iron Line that captures the spirit of the project through references to its special ecology, heritage and distinctiveness.
Robert Morris-Eyton, chair of the Millom Town Deal Board, said: “We have always committed to making sure residents and businesses can feed into the development of our four projects as far as possible as part of the Town Deal process.
“The exhibition is an exciting opportunity for people to come along and see the submissions that have come forward in our search for a design partner for the Iron Line project.
“People’s thoughts will help to inform the selection process as we move towards the stage of developing ideas for the project itself.
“The Towns Deal funding is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create changes that will have a positive impact upon this area for years to come. That’s why it’s so important that children and young people are involved so I’m looking forward to seeing their logo designs coming through as part of the competition for schools.”
Millom and Haverigg were among 101 towns invited to bid for a share of the Towns Fund in 2019 – part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.
In addition to The Iron Line, three further projects are included in the successful Town Investment Plan. Each aims to help maximise inclusive economic growth and better connectivity for the area while developing a welcoming arts, culture and tourism offer, thriving independent businesses and healthy, active people.
The projects are:
⦁ Reactivating heritage buildings – A proposal to significantly enhance Millom Town Centre by bringing derelict, vacant and underused heritage buildings back into active use to increase vitality and footfall.
⦁ Activating community health – The creation of a new, multi-purpose community and leisure hub to provide a range of facilities including a swimming pool and 3G pitch, as well as improvements at Millom and Haverigg parks.
⦁ Connected Millom and Haverigg – Improving Millom’s transport network to create a gateway to the town at the railway station, while transforming cycling and walking infrastructure in both Millom and Haverigg.
Colander Associates Ltd was brought in to seek the interest of design and architectural firms both in the UK and internationally on behalf of Millom Town Deal Board and Copeland Borough Council.
Members of the technical panel responsible for overseeing the selection of shortlisted submissions will also judge the childrens’ logo competition after its closing date of December 1.
Dave Blackledge, RSPB site manager, said: “Helping find the right design team will be a crucial stage in this project.
“Improving access and engagement with the site while enhancing the wildlife value of this environmentally sensitive reserve will need a special set of skills and it will be exciting to see these first submissions”
For more information on the Millom Town Deal Board, visit Towns Fund | Copeland Borough Council