A £40 million fund to transform coastal communities has officially been launched in Barrow this afternoon.
Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry announced the fifth round of the government's Coastal Communities Fund at the Dock Museum today.
The fund has helped 500 new businesses create more than 5,500 jobs since its launch in 2012.
Mr Berry said: "I'm delighted to announce that applications are now open for the next round of the Coastal Communities Fund.
"Coastal Communities up and down the country, from Barrow-in-Furness to Brighton have been boosted by this funding, which has spurred inward investment, sustainable growth, new jobs and exciting economic opportunities for local businesses.
"By 2020 we'll have invested nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in our seaside areas, providing thousands of jobs, training places and opportunities along the Great British coast."
The minister visited Barrow to see how the fund has helped improve the town and the wider coastal area.
In the first round, £900,000 was awarded to Furness Enterprise Limited to create an innovation network to seamlessly connect local businesses, as well as support 70 new start-up businesses, before being awarded a further £865,000 three years later.
Last year, the fund helped transform visitor facilities on Walney to convert a derelict building into a community run visitor hub.
The fund has also helped the Furness Energy Forum bring local businesses together to capitalise on energy supplier opportunities.
The fund supports the economic transformation of UK coastal communities by giving funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs.
Since its launch, 295 projects across the country have been awarded grants totally over £174 million.
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