Live updates

Cumbrian business leaders hear from economy experts

Business leaders from across Cumbria have been hearing about the state of the global economy at a special lecture organised by the University of Cumbria.

It was part of the university's aim to share knowledge and expertise by bringing business experts to the county.

"It's really important because we're a regional university but we are globally connected and anything we can do to elevate global issues to our business community and to our students is vitally important."

– Sandra Booth, University of Cumbria

Advertisement

Scottish Borders businesses warned of counterfeit money

Money. Credit: PA

Police are warning businesses in the Scottish Borders to watch out for counterfeit money.

Since the start of this week, there have been three reports of fake bank notes being used at shops throughout East Lothian and the Borders.

On Monday, 23 May, two shops were targeted in Dunbar and North Berwick.

On the following day a store in Coldstream confirmed it had also received counterfeit currency.

On each occasion, the notes were reported to be of a “high-quality”, and appeared legitimate on first sight.

The notes are all Bank of England £20 notes, with either the serial number “AH03 269110” or “HH11 227632”.

It is a criminal offence to hold or pass a note that you know to be counterfeit. I would ask the public to be aware of the recent circulation of counterfeit currency, and to check any paper notes they have received lately to ensure they are legitimate.

If anyone suspects they have been handed or found a fake bank note, they should retain it and contact the police immediately.

– PC Alan Curran, from Haddington Police station

Peter Rabbit 50p coin in circulation in the Lake District

Peter Rabbit 50p coin Credit: The Royal Mint

The World Of Beatrix Potter™ Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere and National Trust in The Lakes are the first places in country you can receive a special Petter Rabbit 50p circulating coin in your change.

The coin has been created to mark Beatrix Potter's 150th anniversary, and will go into the tills in the Lake District on Easter weekend from Saturday 26 March 2016.

It is the first time a children's book character has appeared on a coin.

Where can you get one?

The coins will be going into the tills at the following attractions;

  • Hill Top
  • Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead
  • Wray Castle in the Lake District
  • The World Of Beatrix Potter™ Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere

When Beatrix Potter first published Peter Rabbit, back in 1902, the income from the sales of the book allowed her to buy Hill Top, in 1905, so it is fitting that the first coins will only be available in the Lake District.

– Royal Mint spokesperson

Council tax in Cumbria set to rise 2%

Credit: ITV Border

Council tax in Cumbria is set to rise by two percent in the coming financial year.

The County Council is having to find £33m of savings and says the rise is necessary in order to protect frontline services.

In the future the government are going to require councils to fund services locally. So we will not be able to afford funding services locally unless we put Council tax up year on year."

– Patricia Bell, Cumbria County Council

Advertisement

Windermere improvement works to begin next year

Windermere. Credit: ITV Border

Work on a £300,000 scheme to improve the waterfront at Windermere is expected to begin early next year.

Councillors have approved a contract to carry out the improvements.

The plan is to widen the promenade at Waterhead, on the lake's northern shore, as well as resurfacing walkways, repairing walls and installing a ‘panorama’ board, to identify key Lakeland landmarks that can be seen from the shore.

The aim is for the work to be finished by Easter 2016, to minimise disruption to the tourism industry at one of its busiest times.

We are investing £280,000 and Lakes Parish Council is putting in at least £20,000 to make this a reality.

These plans have been shaped following steering group meetings and in partnership with key stakeholders, including the parish council, civic society, Cumbria Tourism, Lake District National Park, the two local district councillors and all the respondents to the consultation.

It is an excellent example of true partnership working and has resulted in a scheme that greatly improve a popular and much-loved Lake District location.’’

– Councillor Giles Archibald

Villagers club together to keep only shop open

The village's only shop. Credit: ITV Border

Villagers who have been fighting to save their only shop from closure have become its new owners.

The former Co Operative store in Hallbankgate near Brampton, closed in the summer after 140 years.

A community group made up of local residents has now bought it after raising around £70,000, and they're busy refurbishing the shop.

They hope it will re-open in the spring.

Cumbria tax office closures will 'save taxpayer money'

HMRC has explained the closures. Credit: PA

The UK's tax authority has explained the decision to close two tax offices in Cumbria, with the loss of more than 300 jobs.

Offices at Lillyhall and Carlisle are expected to close by 2018.

HMRC says its workforce in the North West is spread across 24 offices, and that to modernise it needs to close some of these.

Instead, it will have two regional centres, in Liverpool and Manchester, which it says will save the taxpayer money:

HMRC is committed to modern, regional centres serving every region and nation in the UK, with skilled and varied jobs and development opportunities, while also ensuring jobs are spread throughout the UK and not concentrated in the capital.

HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and outdated offices. This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system.

The new regional centres in Liverpool and Manchester will bring our staff together in more modern and cost-effective buildings in areas with lower rents. They will also make a big contribution to the economy of the North West region providing high-quality, skilled jobs and supporting the Government’s commitment to a national recovery that benefits all parts of the UK.”

– Lin Homer, HMRC’s Chief Executive

Hundreds of tax jobs facing axe in Cumbria

Hundreds of jobs will be lost in Cumbria. Credit: PA

HMRC has announced it plans to close 139 local tax offices, including ones at Lillyhall in Workington, and in Carlisle.

The closures:

  • Lillyhall - to close in 2018, with the loss of 200 jobs
  • Carlisle - to close in 2017/18, with the loss of 123 jobs

It's part of a plan to replace local offices with 13 regional hubs, and the new centres are expected to open in the next five years.

Load more updates