Iron Line: Millom, Cumbria

On behalf of Copeland Borough Council and the Millom Town Deal Board, we are pleased to announce this competition to find an interdisciplinary design team to sensitively develop the beautiful coastal Iron Line at Millom into a recreational attraction that unites ecology, heritage and culture.

The Competition

This is a competition to find the right design team with whom a sympathetic yet stimulating intervention can be created within an area of extraordinary natural beauty, close to the Cumbrian Lake District. It is not a competition to identify a design solution for the project, this will be created through a collaborative design process with stakeholders, once the team has been appointed.

The competition is being run as a 2-stage competition, following public sector procedures:

  • Stage 1: Expressions of interest using the Standard Selection Questionnaire (SSQ)
  • Stage 2: Invitation to Tender

The competition is being managed, on behalf of Copeland Borough Council, by Colander Associates. This means that Colander is the point of contact for competitors and all communications must be channelled through Colander, via the email address:

A pdf copy of this brief is included in the sidebar of this webpage.

  • Image courtesy of Millom Town Investment Plan
  • Image credit: David Savage
  • Image courtesy of Millom Town Investment Plan

'We have a stunning location and an ambitious vision to create a truly transformational project, the "Iron Line". Drawing on its skills and expertise, the winning design team will have the opportunity to create a unique, world class attraction for residents and visitors alike. We very much look forward to working with the team to create the Iron Line, bringing our vision to reality.'

— Robert Morris-Eyton, Chair of Millom Town Deal Board

Competition updates

Compliant bids were received from teams led by Bauman Lyons Architects Ltd; Collective Architecture; Farrer Huxley and Layer Studio (see below for individual team members).

Each team brought something unique and powerful to the table and the jury panel really enjoyed reviewing and discussing the different approaches that had been taken. Following interviews with all four teams, the Jury Panel was unanimous in its decision to announce the team led by Layer Studio as the winner: its submission was sensitive to place, heritage, ecology, culture, and community.

The Press Release can be found in the side bar of this webpage. To see the submissions please go to the Journal piece on our home page.

We are delighted to announce that we received 21 submissions for this wonderful competition. Five teams have been shortlisted:

Bauman Lyons Architects Ltd, with: Xanthe Quayle Landscape Architects; Andy Edwards Design; Martin Higgitt Associates; Jane Simpson Associates; Experience Community; Ecological Services; Simon Fenton Partnership; DP Squared

Collective Architecture, with: RaeburnFaquharBowen; Civic Engineers; Rybka; Gardiner & Theobald. Supporting specialists: Arch Henderson; Urban Movement; Graphical House; Ecus Ltd; CB Arts

Farrer Huxley, with: Mary Arnold-Foster Architects; Curtins; Luths Services; JBA Consulting; Fairfield Cost Consultants

FCBS, with: Sarah Price Landscapes; Place Education; Earnscliffe; Modern Designers Ltd; AKTii; Ruth Jackson Planning; Appleyard & Trew; MaxFordham

Layer Studio, with: Gagarin Studio; Greengage; PLACED; Curtins; BWA; Project Four

We offer our commiserations to the teams that did not make the shortlist; it was an exceptionally strong field and, as ever, a real shame that there had to be winners and losers.

All competitors submitted an A2 board as part of their Stage 1 submission. Those submitted by the shortlisted teams are included below:

  • SHORTLISTED TEAM: Bauman Lyons Architects Ltd with Xanthe Quayle Landscape Architects; Andy Edwards Design; Martin Higgitt Associates; Jane Simpson Associates; Experience Community; Ecological Services; Simon Fenton Partnership; DP Squared
  • SHORTLISTED TEAM: Collective Architecture with core team: RaeburnFaquharBowen; Civic Engineers; Rybka; Gardiner & Theobald. Supporting specialists: Arch Henderson; Urban Movement; Graphical House; Ecus Ltd; CB Arts
  • SHORTLISTED TEAM: Farrer Huxley with Mary Arnold-Foster Architects; Curtins; Luths Services; JBA Consulting; Fairfield Cost Consultants
  • SHORTLISTED TEAM: FCBS with Sarah Price Landscapes; Place Education; Earnscliffe; Modern Designers Ltd; AKTii; Ruth Jackson Planning; Appleyard & Trew; MaxFordham
  • SHORTLISTED TEAM: Layer Studio with Gagarin Studio; Greengage; PLACED; Curtins; BWA; Project Four


The site visit to which all shortlisted teams will be invited has been confirmed: 04 November 2021, starting at 12.45. It is expected to last around 3 hours. Details will be sent to shortlisted teams once they have been selected.

We are delighted to announce that we have received 21, wonderfully diverse submissions from teams that are interested in designing the Iron Line.
The Jury Panel that will select the shortlist next week, includes two independent jurors: Grimshaw Partner, Jolyon Brewis, who is the Partner in Charge of Grimshaw's work on Eden Project North, as well as Kate Bailey, Trustee of the Landscape Institute and a member of the NW Design Review Panel. They will be joined by Nick Hayhurst, Head of Planning and Place at Copeland Borough Council; Robert Morris-Eyton, Chair of Millom Town Board; Dave Blackledge, Cumbria RSPB Reserves Manager; and Aldo Rinaldi, Art Curator.

Responses to queries from potential competitors have been added to the sidebar on this website.

The ambition

Copeland Borough Council (CBC) with Millom Town Deal Board, is delighted to have been allocated a sizeable grant from the government’s Town Fund, to deliver a transformational programme of investment and development for the Millom and Haverigg area. The purpose of the funding is to drive long term economic and productivity growth, through investment in connectivity, land use, economic assets (including cultural assets), skills and enterprise infrastructure.

"The package of projects that make up Millom’s Town Deal will work together to secure a wide range of benefits for residents and businesses, not least through improved health and wellbeing outcomes for our communities and a prosperous, resilient economy.

“The launch of this competition is a big step forward for The Iron Line, and I look forward to other projects gaining shape.”

— Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland

To find out more, please visit the Town Board website. The Millom Town Investment Plan is included on this site.

  • Image credit: Op-en

Millom is a peninsular town in South West Cumbria. Together with the adjacent coastal settlement of Haverigg, it is home to 7,300 residents and serves a large rural catchment of some 11,500 residents. Millom’s growth was founded on the discovery of iron ore in Hodbarrow in the mid 19thCentury, however since the closure of the mines in 1968, the town has been left without a clear economic purpose. Today, Millom is struggling to maintain a vibrant and viable town centre offer. It is the intention to use the Town Deal to facilitate economic growth, through a place making initiative celebrating the town’s exceptional natural environment, and so, underpin a thriving and resilient community through sensitive public realm design, heritage, and culture.

  • Image credit: Louise Harrison

Millom has a unique and breathtaking setting, framed by the Lake District fells, the Duddon Estuary and the Irish Sea. It is this natural setting and the industrial heritage of the iron works at Hodbarrow that are the catalysts for ambitious plans to drive sustainable economic growth across the area, by creating thriving independent businesses and a distinctive culture, arts and tourism offer, in close proximity to the UNESCO heritage site that is the Lake District National Park.

Four interlinked projects, each of which has been selected by the local community, together form the Town Investment Plan:

  1. The Iron Line
  2. Reactivating heritage buildings
  3. Activating community health
  4. Connecting Millom and Haverigg

This competition addresses one of these projects: the Iron Line.

  • Image courtesy of RSPB-images
  • Image credit: Op-en

The Iron Line is conceived as one element in South Copeland’s tourism offer, somewhere to return to because of its natural beauty and the quality of its educational and commercial offers. The aim of the Iron Line is to transform the area around the unique coastal lagoon at Millom into a recreational attraction that fuses ecology, heritage and culture within a fully inclusive natural green space.

As a point of difference, the project must embellish and support Millom’s reputation as a fully accessible place to visit, work and live, facilitating health and wellbeing within the local population and helping to attract the ‘purple pound’ by promoting good health and fitness, with a positive approach to accessibility for all. The Iron Line will target all ages and provide a multi-sensory experience so everyone can participate and enjoy the unique setting.

However, perhaps the most important issue for any design team will be the balance between nature and humans – how can the critical need for economic prosperity and development to support the local population be balanced with the sanctity of the natural setting on this important piece of England’s natural coastline. How the enhancement of this piece of landscape can act as a driver for wider economic prosperity? Remember, this is an area which is also legally protected by several statutory designations due to its nature conservation interests.

  • Image credit: David Savage
  • Image credit: Sam Scales, 2020. Courtesy of CBC
  • Image credit: David Savage

The site

Millom’s captivating coastal setting is both natural and man-made.

  • Image credit: Op-en

The setting itself is extraordinarily beautiful, sitting at the mouth of the Duddon Estuary and surrounded by the southern fells of the Lake District National Park. The man-made interventions, resulting primarily from the iron mines, have also contributed significantly to the unique setting. As well as the mines themselves, the mining activities generated major infrastructure interventions, such as the prominent sea wall, built to protect the mines from flooding. This 3.2km wall now encloses a large lake and the Hodbarrow Lagoon, the largest coastal lagoon in NW England. Much of the area is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The area incorporates the RSPB Hodbarrow Nature Reserve and is also designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar site. In recognition of the specialness of the area, a proposed extension of the Lake District National Park will bring the north of Millom within the UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses the wider Lake District area.

  • Image credit: Op-en and Google Earth

Hodbarrow is one of the RSPB’s most remote reserves and a degree of self-management will be important going forward. The RSPB and Natural England both have a keen interest in protecting and enhancing biodiversity the natural world within the Iron Line site and any designs will need enhance the native environment, balancing nature and human influences with a light touch: one that revives the natural setting and sensitively limits human interventions while improving existing assets. The site is of particular importance to the breeding tern colonies, an asset that will be a major consideration in the design and construction of the route. An extensive ecology and biodiversity report has been commissioned, focused on the route of the Iron Line and the results of this will be made available to the winning team. Detailed ecological survey work is still to be undertaken to further define the ecological constraints and opportunities, and ecologists will be part of the project team at each stage going forward.

  • Image courtesy of RSPB-images
  • Image credit: David Savage

The Iron Line must remain a place that local people relate to and use with respect and affection. But, it is also the intention to entice tourists, bird watchers and others who are visiting the wider Lake District, taking advantage of the National Park visitor attraction to 'attract and disperse' and provide the much needed catalyst for economic growth within the area.

“The route will cross RSPB Hodbarrow and we look forward to working with the successful design team on this exciting project. The challenge will be to create an engaging trail that informs and educates while enhancing the wildlife and flora of this environmentally sensitive site”

— Dave Blackledge, RSPB Site Manager

Scope of the project

It is the client’s intention to appoint the winning team to take the project through to completion on site. The scope of the project will be dependent on the client’s ability to raise funds against the Town Deal. Current funds are subject to approval.

The winning team will be expected to develop in consultation with technical experts, a costed outline design, with demonstrated deliverability, for the Iron Line across Hodbarrow Reserve, sea wall and car park area by March 2022 to support the Town Deal Business Case.

If approved by government, the winning team will then develop the detailed design and support delivery for completion of the scheme by March 2026.

The Iron Line project has three distinct parts, which incorporate 4.7km of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths:

  1. The Iron Line Route
  2. The Seawall
  3. The Carpark area


The looped walking and cycling route through the old mining area, to the east of the lagoon will be revived. This runs through the RSBP Hodbarrow Nature Reserve and is part of the SSSI.

The route will run past the disused Hodbarrow Point lighthouse, to the start of the seawall and back.

Sensitivity to increased human traffic in this area will be fundamental to its success, so it is encouraging that the existing geography and planting lends itself to ‘hiding’ people, as nature has commandeered much of the industrial heritage. At the moment the route is popular with local walkers, bird watchers and nature enthusiasts, due to its stunning location: it will be important not to alienate these people with the new interventions.

Although it is a mud track, unsuitable for most vehicles, the current route is a legally constituted byway. The client is hoping that it may be possible to reroute vehicular traffic as part of the Iron Line project; in any event the intention is to design in such a way to discourage vehicles where possible.

  • Image credit: Louise Harrison
  • Image credit: Louise Harrison
  • Image credit: David Savage
  • Image credit: David Savage


The English Coastal Path which runs along the outer edge of the sea wall is also included in the Iron Line. The sea wall is constructed of giant concrete blocks, some of which have been moved by the tide, and while the path remains negotiable, it is in need of some repair. The seawall is exposed and often windswept – not for the faint hearted in inclement weather! – but it offers stunning views, both out to sea and across the lagoon. It passes a protected island within the lagoon that is home to breeding terns, and the now disused Hodbarrow lighthouse. It is here that the conundrum of balancing increased visitor numbers with the protected RSPB site will need to be most sensitively handled: any risk of disturbance to terns is not only undesirable but potentially illegal and any design for increased visitors will need to fully protect the tern colony.

Although vehicular traffic is discouraged, the byway continues along the sea wall, which is wide enough to comfortably incorporate cars, cyclists and walkers. How these are all incorporated into the new vision for the Iron Line will need careful consideration, to ensure both safety and enjoyment for visitors with different requirements.

Please note that the land route from the end of the sea wall, back to the carpark is not included in this brief.

  • Image credit: Copeland Borough Council
  • Image credit: Louise Harrison
  • Image credit: Sam Scales, 2020. Courtesy of CBC


The project will include around 100 carparking spaces for visitors to the site and include a fully accessible visitor and education facilities. These might include a café, changing-places facility and storage for free-to-hire trampers, an interpretation centre with links to the RSPB.. An educational programme that is both physical and digital will be created, telling stories around the art programme, the heritage and the ever changing, rich natural environment of the area.


Any interventions must be driven by a desire to protect and enhance the natural beauty, landscape and biodiversity of the area. There are opportunities to create quiet and reflective spaces as well as more bustling areas; both must designed to respect the natural setting.

It is recognised that there will be upkeep costs associated with the Iron Line but it will be important to reduce day-to-day maintenance requirements. For example, minimising the control of vegetation, designing out vandalism and ensuring that visitors tread lightly, leaving little trace of themselves behind.

  • Image credit: Louise Harrison
  • Image credit: Sam Scales, 2020. Courtesy of CBC
  • Image credit: David Savage
  • Image credit: David Savage


The successful team will reimagine the extraordinarily rich environment and heritage of the site as a work of art in its own right. However, to enhance the attraction of the Iron Line as a destination and encourage visitors to return again and again, CBC will also be commissioning a public art programme featuring a number of site-specific, interactive and changing artworks. These will be located at salient points and in spurs and clearings as visitors progress along the route. The client has appointed a consultant art curator who will be responsible for commissioning these works of art, and the design team will be expected to work with the curator on the integration of artworks within the overarching design.

  • Image credit: Sam Scales, 2020. Courtesy of CBC
  • Image credit: Sam Scales, 2020. Courtesy of CBC


While the routes are primarily landscape-led initiatives, there are a number of architectural interventions that will need to be considered.

These include:

    • A new building for the visitor facilities in the carpark area
    • Concessions in the carpark area
    • An upgrade to the RSPB hide on the sea wall, overlooking the terns’ breeding island.
    • Potential creative reuse of the two lighthouses. Both are no longer operational and are closed to visitors. The Hodbarrow Lighthouse was renovated in past years however, it has since fallen into disrepair
  • Image credit: Sam Scales, 2020. Courtesy of CBC
  • Image credit: Sam Scales, 2020. Courtesy of CBC

Community involvement

Stakeholder engagement has been fundamental to the instigation of the Iron Line. Community, public, private and third sector engagement has taken place at various stages and support for the project has been confirmed by its inclusion in the application for the Town Deal grant. The Iron Line has secured high levels of local support, while ensuring maximum alignment to policy and existing and planned initiatives.

This spirit of community engagement will be a vital part of the realisation of the Iron Line going forward and the successful design team will need to demonstrate a willingness to collaborate and co-create, capturing the story of creating the Iron Line as the project progresses. Demonstrable experience of successful projects where the community has played a key role in the design process will be key.

  • Image credit: Jenny Brumby

Storytelling that builds on the rich history of the site and captures the imagination of the community will be integral to the design and the successful team will require a clear vision to address some of the competing demands for the Hodbarrow landscape and the sensitive environmental requirements.

The community will be engaged at each stage of this competition, and comments from this engagement will be shared with the Jury Panel to inform the panel’s evaluation of each competitor’s submission.


The budget for this project is expected to be in the region of £10m, inclusive of all costs but exclusive of VAT. Of this, approximately £7m will come from the Town Deal fund. Additional funding is being sought from a number of sources. The project scope will be dependent on the funds raised.

While the commissioning of the art installations does not fall within the remit of the design team, costs associated with the development of the public art programme, its coordination, the fabrication of the artworks and their installation will need to be met from the project budget.

At this stage it is assumed that the design team fees will not exceed £500k.

Project programme

The project programme is driven by the conditions attached to Town Deal funding.

An outline design for the Iron Line will be included in CBC’s business case to government, which is required no later than 21 March 2022, suggesting outline cost estimates for the design will be required by the end of February 2022. The project will need to be completed by March 2026.

Characteristics of the winning team

The client looking for a design-led team of diverse and complementary consultants that can collectively create and deliver a confident and forward-looking design for this project: one that reflects the sensitivity of the natural environment while encouraging economic and community growth. Inclusion is at the heart of this project and this should be reflected in the approach that the team takes.


The client’s team includes Aldo Rinaldi, consultant art curator and the ecologist Lucy Gibson, who has been responsible for undertaking the ecology and biodiversity report of the SSSI. The winning team will be expected to work with both Aldo and Lucy.

The winning team will be able to address landscape design; placemaking; planning and contextual considerations; wayfinding; interventions to historic structures; architecture; civil and structural engineering; cost analysis; inclusive design; public safety and security; and inter-disciplinary design delivery to cost and programme, alongside effective political and stakeholder engagement, to help bring the project to fruition. Crucially, the team will have experience and appreciation of working within a highly designated site and the unique approach to conservation and environmental enhancement this will entail.

It is not a requirement for teams to include a planning consultant, however teams should have the expertise to be able to submit a successful Planning Application. Equally, professional fundraisers are not required as part of the design team, however, the winning team will need to demonstrate that it is able to support the client’s fund-raising efforts.


It is not the intention to specify how teams are structured, nor which professions are included in the team. However, the design team will require both gravitas and experience, alongside radical thinking, persuasive ideas and a collaborative approach that resonates with the locality. Teams are therefore encouraged to come together with both established and emerging organisations, with complementary skills. It is expected that the creative leadership within the team will be founded in landscape design. However, the lead consultant, as identified in the Standard Questionnaire, may not necessarily be the landscape designer.

We suggest that organisations, or individuals wishing to join a team and contribute to this project use the hashtag #ironlinecompetition as a way of meeting likeminded people.

Stage 1: Submission requirements

Please note that while an organisation can be involved in any number of competing teams, each organisation may only submit one competition entry as the lead consultant. Also, competitors wishing to be involved in more than one team must be able to demonstrate, on request, that measures to prevent internal information sharing have been put in place.

Please refer also to the CBC Tender Notices attached in the sidebar of this website


This competition is being run in accordance with public sector procedures. Therefore, any competitor wishing to be considered for this project, will need to submit the Standard Selection Questionnaire (SSQ) documents (copies attached in the sidebar of this website). The SSQ is structured in 3 separate parts, Parts 1 and 2 must be completed by every member of the team. Part 3 should be completed by the lead consultant only:

  1. Part 1 covers the basic information about the team member, such as the contact details, trade memberships, details of parent companies, group bidding and so on.
  2. Part 2 covers a self-declaration regarding whether or not any listed exclusion grounds apply.
  3. Part 3 covers a self-declaration regarding economic and financial standing as well as information about the team’s technical and professional capacity; the Modern Slavery Act; insurance and apprentices. Please note that referees given in this section will only be approached if a competitor is shortlisted.

In addition to the completed standard SSQ document, competitors are asked to provide the following:


A single A4 side cover sheet that outlines:

  • Contact person: name, phone and email address
  • Name of the organisation submitting this expression of interest (the lead consultant), address, phone, website.
  • The names and web addresses of the organisations included in the team and their role on this project
  • Confirmation that all organisations in the team are paying a living wage to all employees
  • The team’s commitment to delivering this project in Millom, Cumbria, UK, bearing in mind the need for local visibility and engagement through both the design and delivery phases.
  • No more than 300 words summarising why this team is right for this project.



A think piece: no more than 500 words and one A2 image that addresses the following:
‘How might design resolve the delicate balance between preservation of a natural asset and the need to encourage economic prosperity’


No more than four A4 sides, with pertinent text and images, including examples of past projects undertaken by the team, addressing the following:

  • This team’s understanding of, and commitment to sensitive design interventions in areas of natural beauty, ecological sensitivity and cultural heritage.
  • This team’s understanding of, and commitment to sustainable development and economic growth, looking at long term social, environmental and economic sustainability.
  • The team’s commitment to inclusive design and experience of working with stakeholders and communities.
  • This team’s ability to deliver both design excellence and the highest possible long-term value to clients, while working within fixed budget and time constraints.


No more than three A4 sides addressing the following:

  • The individual skills, experience and expertise offered by this team. Include information about the key individuals who would lead the projecttheir track records the roles they would take and why they have been selected for this project.
  • Confirmation that the has the resource to meet the project programme.

Stage 1: Submission format and delivery address

Submissions must be emailed in PDF format to Please note that email attachments will not be acceptable if files are larger than 10MB, so we recommend using WeTransfer or the equivalent, if this is the case.

PDF submissions should comprise five separate files:

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Completed SQ:
    1. Parts 1 and 2 completed by each organisation in the team
    2. Part 3 completed by the lead consultant only, on behalf of the team
  3. Response to The Team’s Design Philosophy Part 1
  4. Response to The Team’s Design Philosophy Part 2
  5. Response to The Team’s Skills and Experience

Please note that additional pages must not be included in the submission. So, no extra cover sheets or divider pages are allowed.

In addition, one A2 copy of the image created in response to the Team’s Design Philosophy, Part 1, mounted on lightweight foamboard, should be sent to:

Iron Line Competition
29 Saville Road

This board will be exhibited in a public exhibition in Millom where comments from the community will collected and included in the background information given to the Jury Panel.

It is each competitor’s responsibility to ensure that its complete submission arrives before the following submission deadlines:

Emailed submission: 12 noon on Thursday 21 October 2021.

Hard copy A2 board: 17.00 on Thursday 21 October 2021.

Late deliveries will not be accepted. Equally, it is each competitor’s responsibility to ensure that its submission has been received. Email acknowledgement will be sent to the named contact person confirming that their submission has been received; if an email is not forthcoming, then competitors should assume that their submission has not arrived.

Stage 1: Queries

Competitors are requested to keep an eye on the competition website, as this is where any updates to the competition process will be posted. Go to: and follow the link.

Competitors must not contact Copeland Borough Council, members of the Millom Town Deal Board or any other stakeholders when considering whether to enter the competition, or to help with the submission itself. Instead, any queries should be sent to no later than Monday 27 September 2021. Responses to the queries that we receive will be posted on the competition website by Friday 01 October 2021.

Stage 1: Assessment criteria

All teams that enter this competition will be assessed against three criteria:


Each criterion will be scored out of 10 as follows:

10 Exceptional, exceeds all expectations
9 Outstanding, exceeds almost all expectations
8 Very good, exceeds most expectations
7 Good, above expectations
6 Fair, slightly exceeds expectations
5 Average, meets expectations
4 Below average, satisfactory but below expectations
3 Poor, below expectations
2 Weak, well below expectations
1 Very weak, almost unacceptable
0 Unacceptable

The scores will be aggregated to give a percentage mark on a 30:30:40 ratio, whereby 30% is determined by the marks allocated to The Team’s Design Philosophy Part 1; 30% is determined by the marks allocated to The Team’s Design Philosophy Part 2; and 40% by the marks allocated to The Team’s Skills and Experience – no further weighting will be applied.

The marks allocated to The Team’s Design Philosophy, will take into account:

  • Demonstrable design flair, creativity and ingenuity, appropriate to a complex, multi-faceted, interdisciplinary project of this nature.
  • Approach to and/or experience of place making
  • Approach to and/or experience of designing in highly regulated areas of natural beauty, high ecological sensitivity and cultural heritage.
  • Approach to and/or experience of sustainability issues, both in the delivery of projects and in the completed projects themselves.
  • Approach to and/or experience of designing inclusive environments that are accessible to all.
  • Approach to and/or experience of delivering long-term value to clients, while working within fixed budget and time constraints.
  • Approach to and/or experience of stakeholder engagement in regeneration projects.

40% of the marks will be allocated to The Team’s Skills and Experience, taking into account:

  • The appropriateness of the individual players put forward for this project bearing in mind their experience as well as their creative, technical and management skills,

Jury Panel

CBC is assembling an expert Jury Panel to identify the best design-led team for this project. This panel will select a winner and submit its recommendation for formal ratification by the Millom Town Deal Board The panel will include representatives of the RSPB, the Millom Town Board, CBC as well as independent advisors with expertise in design.

The client reserves the right to make changes to the people on the Jury Panel, if circumstances dictate. Any changes will be posted on the competition website.

At each stage in the competition, the Jury will receive feedback collected from visitors to the exhibited submissions and, in Stage 2 of the competition, the Jury Panel will be assisted by a Technical Panel that is expected to include representatives from the local community and experts in ecology, biodiversity and inclusive design. This panel will review the Stage 2 submissions and submit a written report to the Jury Panel to inform its decision-making process. The Technical Panel will also have sight of the shortlisted teams’ Stage 1 submissions.

Please note that while comments from the Technical Panel, the public and other stakeholders will be considered by the members of the Jury when they evaluate the submissions, the Jury Panel will be responsible for the final evaluation of the team.

Shortlisting to Stage 2

In accordance with public sector procurement rules, it is the intention to shortlist five teams to take part in Stage 2 of the competition. It is the intention to announce the shortlist on Friday 29 October 2021.

Feedback will be provided to all teams.


Each competitor that is shortlisted to take part in Stage 2 will be offered an honorarium of £5,000, + VAT if required, payable on receipt of a compliant Stage 2 submission.

Stage 2: Briefing Information

Detailed requirements for the Stage 2 submission will be given to the shortlisted teams.

It is expected that the following documents will be included in the Stage 2 brief:

  • Technical and feasibility reports, as appropriate
  • Financial feasibility reports, as appropriate
  • A detailed scope of services required, to achieve a successful Planning Application and a broad scope of services to take the project through to completion.
  • Proposed form of contract
  • A form to be completed with a fee proposal and a schedule of rates.
  • A form to be completed with a proposed resourcing schedule.

Stage 2: Site visit and briefing

A briefing session and, COVID-19 protocols allowing, a site visit will be held with the shortlisted teams in w/c 01 November 2021. Details will be shared with shortlisted teams.

Stage 2: Submission requirements

Shortlisted teams will be asked to provide two distinct pieces of work, addressing:

  1. Design approach to this project
  2. Design delivery for this project


This is not a design competition. However, the Jury Panel will want to understand how each shortlisted team will approach the challenges and the opportunities inherent in this project.

Shortlisted teams will be asked to create a short piece to camera of no more than 2-minutes, to capture team members’ passion and enthusiasm for the challenges and opportunities offered by this remarkable site and highlighting their approach to inclusion and co-creation. It is assumed that this video will be created by the teams themselves, it is not expected to be a professionally commissioned piece.

In addition, each shortlisted team will be asked to submit two A1 boards – as both a pdf and a hard copy. The first board should include sketches, diagrams and words to demonstrate that the team has understood the challenges and the opportunities inherent in this project, referencing, as appropriate:

  • Design excellence
  • Environmental sensitivity
  • Context
  • Adaptability
  • Sustainability
  • Accessibility and openness

The second board should comprise a single ‘hero’ image or sketch that can be used in publicity and which reflects the character of the spaces that the team would like to create on the Iron Line.


Teams will be asked to submit a written report of no more than three sides of A4, addressing the following:

Side 1:
The team’s approach to delivering a quality service, including: the roles taken by each of the key players in the team and, if the team comprises more than one organisation, how they will work together, illustrated with an organogram; how the creative and the managerial leads within the team expect to interface, to ensure design excellence alongside a smooth delivery process.

Side 2:
Bearing in mind the diverse interests in the site and the inevitable tensions between the natural environment and the need for economic prosperity, how the team would work with the client and establish supportive relationships with key stakeholders to benefit the project.

Side 3:
A response to the scope of work; a response to the project programme and the team’s ability to meet the expected deadlines; a response to the anticipated project budget and how the team would envisage providing value for money.

In addition, competitors will be asked to complete a form that includes a fee proposal and a schedule of rates with a supporting resource schedule. Teams will be asked to name their key players and give an indicate the % of time that those key players and others will allocate to the project. Finally, teams will be asked to give an agreement in principle to the proposed form of contract, highlighting any issues that would require further discussion.

The deadline for receiving Stage 2 submissions is Friday 26 November 2021. Details will be shared with shortlisted teams.


The Jury Panel will conduct interviews with each of the shortlisted teams. These are expected to last no more than 60 minutes and will include time for a presentation and for a Q&A session. COVID-19 protocols allowing, the interviews will take place in Millom, on Monday 06 December 2021. If face-to-face interviews are not achievable on that date, then other arrangements will be made.

Stage 2: Judging criteria

The judging criteria will take into account the video, images, written submissions and performance at interview and will address:

  • Social value
  • The quality of design thinking and communication
  • The ability of the team to interface with the client and stakeholders.
  • The quality of the service provided
  • The fees

Detailed criteria will be given to the shortlisted teams.

Competition dates

21.09.21 Competition launch
27.09.21 Deadline for any queries about this competition
21.10.21 Deadline for receipt of Stage 1 submissions
29.10.21 Announcement of the shortlisted teams

04.11.21 Site visit and briefing session
26.11.21 Deadline for receipt of Stage 2 submissions
06.12.21 Interviews with Jury Panel and selection of the winner
10-day standstill period
17.12.21 Winner announced

Please note that these dates are given in good faith, however, the client reserves the right to make legally compliant changes if circumstances dictate.


By entering this competition, competitors agree not to contact the press or media about the competition at any stage during or after the competition, without the written approval of the client. Equally, not to self-publicise their competition entry online or through other means without written consent from the client.

There will be publicity associated with this competition as it progresses. By entering the competition, all competitors (whether or not they are shortlisted to take part in Stage 2 of the competition), acknowledge this fact, and freely consent to their submissions being used for this purpose.

In particular it is expected that the submissions in Stage 1 and the Design Approach boards and videos in Stage 2 will be publicised and, if appropriate, included in public exhibitions. Also, Stage 2 submissions will be used in publicity to announce the competition winner.


By submitting any materials (including, without limitation, written proposals, designs, diagrams or source code) as part of this competition, you hereby grant to CBC a non-exclusive, worldwide, sub-licensable, royalty-free licence to use, copy and modify such materials for the purpose of evaluating your tender. The ownership of any copyright in such materials will be subject to the Copyright, Designs & Patent Act 1988.


Any submission will be excluded from the competition if:

  • It is received after the submission deadlines
  • In the opinion of the Jury, it does not fulfil the requirements of the brief
  • A competitor improperly attempts to influence the decision
  • Any of the mandatory requirements of the competition brief and conditions are disregarded.

Confidential information

In the course of communicating with competitors, CBC may provide information which is confidential (including, without limitation, information relating to the business or affairs of CBC and/or the competition, whether or not such information is reduced to a tangible form or is marked in writing or designated orally or in writing as “confidential” (Confidential Information)). By entering this competition, the members of each competing team agree that they will

  • not use Confidential Information other than for the purpose of engaging with the competition and
  • not disclose Confidential Information to any third party except with the prior consent of CBC.

This agreement applies to all those associated with the organisations in each competition team.

The small print

This opportunity is for all phases of the scheme (outline design, detailed design and delivery), however, as external funding to deliver the scheme is still to be secured, there is no guarantee that all phases will be awarded.

While the information contained in this document is believed to be correct at the time of issue, neither CBC nor its advisors make any warranty or representation (express or implied) with respect to such information; nor will they accept any liability for its accuracy, adequacy or completeness.

Colander Associates has taken all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information included is accurate, however, it cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies.