The Ironline


There has been a flurry of activity and community engagement linked to The Iron Line – a scheme that will see the uniquely beautiful sea wall and coastal lagoon off the coast of Millom sensitively enhanced to form an inspirational and fully inclusive route across RSPB Hodbarrow.

A global search was launched in 2021 to find a design partner to work alongside the Town Deal Board and Copeland Borough Council to move this exciting project forward.

A total of 21 applications were received, with five selected for the second stage. The work of shortlisted applicants was showcased at a public consultation event as part of the wider selection process, to ensure the views of residents were taken on board.

In January 2022, it was announced that Layer Studio had been appointed as the design partner to take the project to the next stage, with the selection panel saying Layer Studio’s Stage 2 submission was sensitive to place, heritage, ecology, culture, and community.

The team is led by renowned landscape architects and includes a specialist in projects that have evolved through a series of engagement events with the local community.

The scheme will incorporate upgrades to significant landmarks alongside the incorporation of new public art installations.

A new welcome centre, incorporating a café/bar, retail space and events room, will be created.  And there will be adjacent parking for around 80 vehicles. Upwards of 7km of walking and cycling routes will be enhanced as part of the project.

As well as attracting in the region of 100,000 visits to the town every year, the improvements will have direct benefits on the health and wellbeing of local residents, as the area is enhanced to make it more accessible for walking and cycling.

The Iron Line project will create eight full time equivalent jobs, once all work is completed. During the construction phase, it is estimated that 26 temporary roles will be created.

A planning application linked to this project has now been submitted. You can view the application here: 4/23/2249/0F1 | Copeland Borough Council


The projects that form part of the Millom Town Deal have been decided and funding has been secured. However, there will be occasions on which feedback and the views of residents are sought.