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Solfest to return

The family-friendly three day festival will take place at Tarnside Farm near Aspatria. Credit: ITV Border

One of Cumbria's top music festivals is returning.

Solfest didn't run this year, but organisers have announced it'll be back next August. The family-friendly three day festival will take place at Tarnside Farm near Aspatria.

That's a boost for the region's music scene, as last year Cockrock and the Whitehaven Festival were also cancelled.

11,000 visited Kendal Mountain Festival

It's the biggest outdoor festival of it's kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors, putting the Lake District on the map for outdoor culture. Credit: ITV Border

The 15th Kendal Mountain Festival brought 11,000 people to South Lakeland and generated around £2million to the local economy, say organisers.

The 2014 festival, partly funded by South Lakeland District Council, brought together enthusiasts and experts for a weekend of films, talks and workshops.

Organisers of the festival say the success is down to the "programme mix, award-winning films and the main venue in Kendal.. which has become the hub of the festival."

Read: 15th Mountain Festival descends on Kendal

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'This is a really crucial time for Hawick High Street'

High Streets all over our region have suffered in the past couple of years the sight of closed shops and empty premises is all too familiar.

Today the spotlight was on the town of Hawick, with a visit from a Scottish government minister, who came to see the extent of the problem for himself. Lori Carnochan reports.

Around The House: What might a future coalition look like?

Paul Brand talks to MPs Angus MacNeil, Russell Brown, Sir Alan Beith and James Wharton Credit: ITV Border

On tonight's Around The House, Paul Brand and guests discuss the rise of the SNP, and the impact on Labour and the Lib Dems in Scotland: could there be a future three-way coalition at Westminster?

Also in the programme, what can the Chancellor offer the North in the Autumn Statement, when we are being warned of a another dip in the economy?

Join Paul Brand for Around The House, tonight (Thurs 20 November) on ITV at 11.40pm.

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'People have to support their local businesses'

Derek MacKay spent the morning walking around the town with local traders and Borders MSP Paul Wheelhouse. Credit: ITV Border

Derek MacKay, the Scottish Planning Minister, has been walking around Hawick with Borders MSP Paul Wheelhouse to discuss the state of the town's High Street.

Many shops on the High Street are empty and some businesses are struggling. Like many other towns across the south of Scotland and Cumbria, small independent shops are having to compete with large supermarkets.

Local MSP Paul Wheelhouse has praised the positive community spirit, but says that everyone has a duty to support the high street stores.

"A really important message is that people do have to support their local businesses. It's always difficult competing against big supermarkets due to convenience and the likes of easy and free parking. But we no have a duty to work with the local businesses and the Scottish Government to do something about this problem here in Hawick."

– Paul Wheelhouse, MSP for South of Scotland, SNP

Planning Minister discusses Hawick High Street

The Scottish planning minister has been in Hawick today to discuss problems facing the town's High Street

Derek MacKay met with local MSP Paul Wheelhouse and traders to discuss the best way of improving what the town has to offer. Some locals say the situation is at crisis point, with so many High Street businesses closing.

Planning Minister visits Hawick

The Scottish Planning Minister has been in Hawick to discuss the state of the town's High Street. Credit: ITV Border

The Scottish Planning Minister has been in Hawick to discuss the state of the town's High Street. Derek MacKay spent the morning walking around the town with local traders and Borders MSP Paul Wheelhouse.

Many shops on the High Street are currently empty and some businesses are at breaking point. There's also an immediate threat of some of the town's larger chain retailers also shutting up shop.

"So the solutions involved- community ownership, community leadership and regeneration. I think it also involves rate support to incentivise people to open up and stay in our town centres, and schemes that can improve the local environment aswell. So it's a mixture of government and community action, working very closely with the private sector who own, of course, most of the properties on the high street."

– Derek MacKay, Local Government and Planning Minister for Scotland

Local traders are worried about the amount of vacant properties on the high street, and think that the rates could be contributing to the problem.

"I agree with the small business rates relief but I think that everybody should contribute to that. Not just the shops that have large frontages or are on the main street, but every shop should contribute, including charity shops."

– Jim Hay, Local businessman

Man who fell off mountain in Mountain Festival film

Local climber Joe Beaumont fell 40 meters from a crag in Eskdale in 2011. Credit: ITV Border

Cumbrian film-makers are amongst those preparing to show their films on the big screen as thousands flock to Kendal for it's 15th Mountain Festival.

Dom Bush, a filmmaker and lecturer at Kendal College has made a film about local climber Joe Beaumont who fell 40 meters from a crag in Eskdale in 2011.

"I smashed the right side of my body, lost my elbow. I remained conscious but in intensive care in Whitehaven Hospital for two days. I don't remember anything of the accident but my new mantra is 'life started from the moment of impact'."

– Joe Beaumont, Climber from Kendal

'In the Frame' tells the story of how Joe pushed his body further than anyone thought possible and used sport as a way of rehabilitating himself.

In the last three years, he's competed in climbing competitions, done a triathlon and cycled to Ben Nevis.

"Climbing has given me the drive to set a goal and a find a way round a problem, and that's what this whole thing has been about. I had to learnt to walk and to live with a disability. You need short and long-term goals. At first it was figuring out how to get a cup of tea from the kitchen to the living room. I couldn't walk but I could cycle - one-legged - so I cycled 600 miles from the lowest to the highest point."

– Joe Beaumont, Climber from Kendal

All the profits from the film are going to local mountain rescue teams.

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