The challenges and opportunities of living in Furness

3rd February 2021

A major research project has been launched to find out the challenges and opportunities faced by people living in Furness.

And locals are being invited to get involved.

The project has been commissioned by the charity Cumbria Community Foundation with the aim of creating a guide to what needs to be done to improve lives, and helping to attract funding to the area.

Two meetings are being held next week to brief people about the project and give people a chance to influence the report.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, is hoping people will take the opportunity to share information about social issues in Furness and the good work that is being done in the area around them.

“This is a major piece of work that we are undertaking and we have already had detailed discussions with the councils, BAE, MP Simon Fell and others about the project. Now we are keen to engage with a wider ranger of people across the community.

“The report will look at everything from health and unemployment to education and housing as well looking at the important work that is already being done in Furness and some of the opportunities here too,” he said.

“Covid has highlighted many of these issues, but this report will not just be about the pandemic – we want to take a longer view of Furness and delve into the data,” he added.

Cumbria Community Foundation has previously produced two community needs reports: ‘Cumbria Revealed: A County of Contrasts 2017’ and ‘West Cumbria Opportunities and Challenges 2019’.

Both reports have provided an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in the county, highlighted some of the work already being undertaken to address disadvantage and identified opportunities for social impact investors to target their efforts and help communities to thrive.

Each report has provided an effective tool for securing additional investment to address priority community needs. Both documents have been widely shared, informing local policies and investment strategies. They have also been used by many third sector groups to prioritise their work and to access funding locally and nationally. Most recently the ‘West Cumbria Opportunities and Challenges 2019’ report was instrumental in helping the Foundation to secure a £2.2m social investment programme in West Cumbria in 2020, funded by Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Two online briefings were held in February. The video below is of one of the meetings, which was held to brief people about the project and give people a chance to influence the report.

If you have would like to include your comments into the research, please email Ellen Clements: