One of Millom’s most popular beauty spots has plans to turn it into an accessible visitor attraction.
Under current plans it could lead to more than 100,000 visits to the town every year, new data has shown.
The Iron Line project is one of four schemes being developed under the Millom Town Deal.
Robert Morris-Eyton, Chair of the Millom Town Deal Board, said: “The benefits of the Iron Line are varied and many and it has been very pleasing to see the project develop over the last 12 months.
“It represents a significant opportunity to harness the beauty and uniqueness of the RSPB Hodbarrow Nature Reserve and build upon it to deliver a significant boost to the health, prosperity and destination status of Millom and Haverigg.
“The projected visitor numbers are very encouraging and the focus now is on delivering a full business case for the project to the government later this summer.”
The Iron Line, a project which proposes to sensitively enhance the unique nature reserve at RSPB Hodbarrow, will unlock the area’s untapped potential.
The proposed improvements will also have direct benefits on the health and wellbeing of local residents.
While the improved accessibility for cycling and walking there are also plans for a new welcome centre.
The centre would incorporate a café-bar, retail space and events room along with adjacent parking.
Working alongside Copeland Borough Council, the Millom Town Deal Board secured an offer of £20.6 million in July 2021 for projects it identified as local priorities.
The scheme will also incorporate upgrades to the historic landmark buildings alongside the incorporation of new public art installations.