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Story's £1.1m loan to Carlisle United written off

CUFC Brunton Park Credit: ITV Border News

Cumbrian businessman Fred Story has agreed to write off his £1.1 million loan to Carlisle United.

The loan was made from his company, Story Homes, during his time as owner of the club.

“I have obviously watched how the club has performed since I moved on and I can see they have hit a rough patch recently, with the relegation from League One and the run of results through the first part of this season.

“I have always said the football club is at the heart of our community and my intention, from the moment I walked into the building in 2003, was to help as much as I could to make it a success.

“At this moment in time I feel the best way I can achieve that is to waive the loan, with no strings attached, and hope that it provides the lift needed in all areas to allow the club to push on and get back to where we all want it to be.”

– Fred Story

“Fred has been a big supporter of this club for as long as I have known him and this, once again, shows how much he wants us to do well."

– Chairman Andrew Jenkins

“Fred took over at a difficult time and left the club in a fantastic position in 2008. The writing off of this loan will certainly help the financial position of the business and will, of course, take over £1.1 million off the balance sheet with immediate effect."

– Managing director John Nixon

New factory: 'securing Wigton's future'

The mayor of Wigton says a new factory, which will make the coating for plastic banknotes, will secure the town's future.

Construction is now underway on the £20 million factory owned by the Innovia Group, which will create 80 jobs.

Guardian, the polymer substrate that will be made at the factory, will be used to coat five and ten pound plastic bank notes.

The Bank of England will switch to these notes from 2016, and this factory in Wigton's at the heart of the changes:

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MP supports Small Business Saturday

"It's a great day for small businesses, not just in Carlisle but up and down the country, small businesses make up 97% of all businesses, half of all private sector employees and a major part of our national economy as well as our local economy, so I think today is a great opportunity for people to come out and support local businesses."

– John Stevenson MP, Con: Carlisle

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Premier Inn for Penrith a step closer

Controversial plans for a budget hotel in the centre of Penrith have narrowly been approved in principle tonight.

Premier Inn wants to open a 60-bed hotel as part of the New Squares shopping development. The company will have to supply a planning application.

But the meeting rejected plans for a filling station.

“We gave carefully consideration to Sainsbury’s proposals for PNS Phase II against a number of different criteria, including the development’s aims. We chose to take forward the hotel element of the proposal; as this has the significant benefit for the future vitality and viability of the District.

“Attracting Premier Inn to PNS will bring a significant boost to the local economy. They are a nationally recognised brand, with a very broad market appeal, especially for people on the move, families and young people looking for quality accommodation.

"Premier Inn will add an extra dimension to Eden’s existing quality tourism offer. The new hotel could bring £4m of investment to the District, creating 21 new jobs subject to planning permission being granted.”

– Gordon Nicolson OBE, Eden District Council’s Leader

Penrith Premier Inn causing debate

The Premier Inn would be built on the town's New Squares shopping development. Credit: ITV Border News

Initial plans for a Premier Inn in Penrith look set to be approved by Eden District Council.

The proposal is for a 60 bed hotel and restaurant in the town's New Squares shopping development. It will cost around £4 million to build and take almost a year.

Premier Inn pointed out that they have logged 120 searches for Penrith Premier Inn on their website every day and nearby Premier Inns have around 70% – 85% occupancy.

Local hoteliers are concerned it may only attract over night business stays and won't bring any money into the town.

They are also concerned the building of a restaurant could affect existing establishments in town.

VAT boost for 'Cumbria's fourth emergency service'

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has welcomed news that Mountain Rescue teams will no longer have to pay VAT.

The announcement came in the Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement.

Mr Farron said mountain rescue was the "fourth emergency service" in Cumbria, and the extra money would be give them a vital boost.

He dedicated the success to former Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team leader Stewart Hulse, who died last year.

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