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Proposed tourist centre sparks debate

Plans to build a £1million tourist centre near Ambleside to celebrate the life of the artist Kurt Schwitters are causing friction in the area.

Schwitters died a pauper, but he's now recognised as a great contemporary artist. However locals in Elterwater, where he had his studio, say a tourist centre could spoil their rural village. Fiona Marley Paterson has more.

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Director of Hayes Garden centre jailed

The director of Hayes Garden World of Ambleside has been jailed for 18 months Credit: ITV Border

The boss of one of Cumbria's biggest garden centres has been jailed for 18 months for concocting a story in an attempt to get out of a drink-driving charge.

45-year-old Thomas Richard Hayes, director of Hayes Garden World of Ambleside, colluded with 57-year-old odd job man Derek Henderson over who was driving a luxury Porsche when it crashed near Kendal nearly two years ago.

Hayes Garden Centre owner jailed

The owner of one of the Lake District's best known businesses has been jailed for 18 months for conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Richard Hayes, of Hayes Garden Centre in Ambleside, attempted to lay the blame for a drink-driving offence on one of his employees.

Hayes and the employee, Derek Henderson, were charged after questions arose as to who the driver of a Porsche was when it was involved in a crash in November 2010 near Kendal.

Hayes was jailed for 18 months and Derek Henderson for 12 months.

“We hope that today’s convictions and sentences serve as a warning to other motorists who seek to evade the law.

The two men conspired together to deliberately mislead the police and the courts in relation to who was driving the car at the time of the collision.

Hayes was arrested at the scene and was convicted after trial of driving over the alcohol limit and driving without due care and attention. He then lodged an appeal naming Henderson as the driver.

However the judge was not satisfied with their version of events and asked for a further investigation into who was driving at the time."

– Katie Nicolson, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West

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Ambleside swimmers invited to elite event

Two open water swimmers from Ambleside have been invited to an elite, invitation-only open water swimming event in London.

Pete Kelly and Andrea Tucker train every morning in Windermere. At the moment there's snow on the fells and the lake temperature is around six degrees.

They've been training for this race in swimming costumes rather than wetsuits.

On Saturday they'll compete without wetsuits in the Phish Icy Swim Hootenany at the unheated Parliament Hill pool.

200 swimmers will be taking part in relay races and individual 60m, 120m and 1000m events. Pete is entered for all four events.

Pete said he was particularly looking forward to the 1000m swim.

“It is one of the first events in this country to offer longer-distance cold water swims. It will be a novelty for me not to be swimming in a lake.”

– Pete Kelly

“We are so lucky to be based in the Lakes and have so much choice for our swims, but it will be a novelty to swim in a pool.”

– Andrea Tucker

Man dies in house fire

Police have confirmed that it was a man who died in a house fire on Bridge Street, Ambleside, this morning.

A woman who was also in the house at the time escaped uninjured.

Police are asking for people to remain away from the area while emergency services continue to deal with the incident.

There is a diversion in place on North Road, but it is not suitable for large vehicles.

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