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.

Shortlist announced in global search for design partner for ambitious Iron Line project


A TOTAL of five firms have been shortlisted to go forward to the next stage in a high profile search for a design partner to work on Millom’s Iron Line project.

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, fully inclusive route across RSPB Hodbarrow.

The competition attracted 21 submissions from firms based both in the UK and internationally with teams asked to consider ‘how design might resolve the delicate balance between preservation of a natural asset and the need to encourage economic prosperity’.

All entries were showcased online and at Millom Heritage & Arts Centre over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, October 23 and 24 with members of the public invited to comment on the submissions.

Now, the five shortlisted firms have been revealed:

Bauman Lyons Architects Ltd.
Collective Architecture
Farrer Huxley
Layer Studio

They will now move forward to Stage 2 in the process. This will see the shortlisted teams visiting the area before being asked to illustrate in more detail how they will approach the challenges and opportunities inherent in the project by the end of November.

Interviews with the design teams will be held in December with the winning firm announced in early January.

Robert Morris-Eyton, chair of the Millom Town Deal Board, said: “We were delighted that the competition attracted submissions from firms around the world which were all of an extremely high standard.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to view the submissions and leave comments and feedback. This was excellent and was included in the information provided in the shortlisting process carried out by the jury panel. Our thanks must also go to the panel themselves for their time and significant expertise in this process.

“We’re now looking forward to moving to Stage 2 and then on to the development of ideas for The Iron Line, which has the potential to bring so many benefits to our area in the future.”

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.

Having accepted £20.6M Heads of Terms with Government, the Town Deal Board and Copeland Borough Council will be submitting business cases against each project by August 2022. Following approval and a final grant offer from Government, it is anticipated that the first ‘spades in the ground’ would take place in early 2023.

For more information on the Millom Town Deal Board, visit Towns Fund | Copeland Borough Council

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