Millom Town Deal

Millom Town Deal

Millom is at a turning point; an exciting time in its history when unprecedented investment in the town and its infrastructure will bring about real and tangible change; change that will make a positive difference to the lives of its residents for many years to come.

New Arts and Enterprise Centre at the heart of transformative town centre plans

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A MODERN facility where businesses can thrive and collaborate is at the heart of plans to breathe new life into some of Millom’s underused and vacant buildings.

Proposals to develop an Arts and Enterprise Centre form part of a wider scheme to create a vibrant town centre that could see up to five properties refurbished.

Improvements to the Market Square – transforming it into a place people choose to visit and spend time – are also part of a future vision for Millom.

The plans are part of the Reactivating Heritage Buildings project, one of four schemes being developed under the Millom Town Deal.

Working alongside Copeland Borough Council, the Millom Town Deal Board secured an offer of £20.6 million in July 2021 for projects it identified as local priorities.

Mike Starkie, the Mayor of Copeland, said: “Millom is a town with a rich and proud history and this is reflected through the architecture of many town centre buildings.

“Sadly, a number of these buildings are now unused and have fallen into a state of disrepair – something we hope to start to address as part of our work in the Reactivating Heritage Buildings project.

“We want to create a busy, vibrant and purposeful town centre where people choose to work, shop and visit. The boost to the local economy through this project has the potential to be significant and I’m looking forward to seeing it move forwards over the coming months.”

The Arts and Enterprise Centre will include a café and exhibition space, a co-working space for businesses to collaborate and share knowledge, a makers market area, a retail display area, a start-up enterprise space, studios and workshops.

Under the proposals, at least a further four heritage buildings will be refurbished. 

As part of wider improvements to the town centre and Market Square, there are plans to introduce a number of cycle stands, plant trees and introduce electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

Robert Morris-Eyton, the Chair of the Millom Town Deal Board, said: “Through our public engagement activities, it has become clear there is a significant level of support for the principles of the Reactivating Heritage Buildings project.

“This has been driven by a desire for a more vibrant town centre, a recognition of the need to address buildings falling into a state of disrepair and a requirement for more high-quality office accommodation and commercial space to encourage entrepreneurial activity and business growth.

“Millom has huge potential and as a Town Deal Board we believe this project will be a catalyst for growth, an increased number of town centre visitors and therefore a stronger, more diverse and sustainable economy.”

A project closely aligned with Reactivating Heritage Buildings has already been delivered using money from the Town Deal Accelerator Fund which delivered an additional investment totalling £500,000 into the town.

The Norman Nicholson Society commissioned the ‘Norman Nicholson’s Millom’ app which brings to life places loved by the acclaimed 20th-century poet, who lived in the town. 

It provides routes and fascinating facts, historic photos, and specially recorded audio memories which bring the heritage of Millom and the surrounding area to life. 

Reactivating Heritage Buildings is one of four projects that form the Millom Town Deal. The other three are:

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.

The Iron Line –  A proposal to transform the unique coastal lagoon into an inspiring visitor attraction which fuses ecology, heritage and art within an inclusive recreational space around the sea wall.

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.

The Millom Town Deal projects have now reached the assurance stage which means the plans are undergoing final assessment before being submitted to the government later this year.

Further details for each of the projects will be made available after the assurance stage is complete when people will be able to comment on the proposals.

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