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Air ambulance opens first Cumbria fundraising office

. Credit: Great North Air Ambulance.

The Great North Air Ambulance has opened its first fundraising office in Cumbria.

The Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance has operated from its Langwathby base since 2004, but the new office in Penrith town centre will now serve as the hub for its fundraising in this county.

The Pride of Cumbria costs up to £2m a year to run and we rely on donations from the public to survive.

This small fundraising base in the heart of the area we serve will allow us to work towards safeguarding the future of the air ambulance.

We want to thank Penrith-based businesses Dream Doors, Arches Carpets, AST signs, Co-operative and Morrisons, as well as Carlisle-based businesses Monitor Systems, Tesco and Asda, who have all offered materials or labour free of charge.”

– Stacy Hucker, GNAAS’ public liaison manager in Cumbria

Around a dozen volunteers have already signed up, including retired joiner and lecturer Rod Bell, who was airlifted in 2009 after suffering a heart attack:

The air ambulance did a great job with me and ever since then I’ve been helping in any way I can.

It’s been quite difficult with the charity based mainly in the North-East but now they have this Cumbrian office it’s much easier for us to get involved.

I’ll be here most Thursdays, all day, doing my bit."

– Rod Bell

Woman airlifted to hospital after A66 collision

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A 23-year-old woman has been airlifted to hospital, after a collision on the A66 Eastbound, between Penruddock and Stainton.

A section of the road was closed after the accident, at around 8am this morning, but has now been re-opened.

The woman, from near Armathwaite, had been driving a blue Peugeot 206.

She is being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, with serious injuries.

Penrith walkers step back in time

orma Benathon of the Richard III Society’s Penrith and North Lakes Group hosts a guided walk around the Duke of Gloucester pub in Penrith which has links to Richard III. Credit: Eden District Council

Walkers followed in the steps of Richard III this morning when they took part in a guided tour around Penrith.

Organised by Richard III Society’s Penrith and North Lakes Group and Eden District Council the walk was held to coincide with two national events taking place this month – the reburial of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral and English Tourism Week.

Led by Richard III Society Penrith and North Lakes Group members Marjorie Smith and Norma Benathon, it was aimed at giving members of the public an insight into the connections Richard had with Penrith during the late fifteenth century.

Several of the town’s historic landmarks took centre stage on the walk including The Gloucester Arms pub in Great Dockray (formerly Dockray Hall where Richard repeatedly lodged while carrying out alterations to the Castle) and Penrith Castle where he stayed on numerous occasions.

“During English Tourism Week we are delighted to have worked with the town’s Richard III Society to help stage this walk. It is fitting that at the same time as we are being encouraged to celebrate the country’s rich tourism industry we should celebrate the town’s links with this most famous of England’s kings.

"The fact that Richard III is in the international media spotlight at the moment with all the events happening in and around Leicester this month was something too good for Penrith not to link into.”

– Charlie Thornton, Tourism Development Officer, Eden District Council

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Penrith man fined for feeding dead cattle to dogs

A man from the Penrith area has been fined nearly £3,000 for illegally feeding the carcasses of dead cattle to his pack of hounds.

Peter Richardson, 52, from Edenhall, near Penrith, pleaded guilty to breaking rules designed to prevent the spread of animal diseases at Carlisle Magistrates Court on Wednesday 11 March.

He was successfully prosecuted by Cumbria Trading Standards.

They found that on five occasions between 2 July 2013 and 25 March 2014 he had collected the carcasses of cattle aged over 48 months and fed them to his hounds.

But such cattle are supposed to be brain sampled and tested for the presence of BSE by an approved operator.

Soup-er solution for Penrith library users

Penrith library has teamed up with a local business owner to offer an innovative temporary solution to a problem with its lift.

Disabled library users or families with pushchairs faced access problems as the lift to the first-floor library is temporarily out of action. So the Soup Shop opposite the library entrance in the Devonshire Arcade has steamed in with a solution, offering a temporary service from its café.

A selection of books will be offered in the Soup Shop from today (Friday 27 February) and library staff will be on hand to register new customers or fetch items on request. Penrith library will be open for business as usual for people using the stairs.

“This is a great example of how we work with people in the local area to find solutions. We are very grateful to Soup Shop owner Paul Forsyth for his help in ensuring everyone can still have access to the books they love and need. I hope people take the opportunity to enjoy a snack while they peruse our products too.”

– Cllr Ian Stewart, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet Member for Libraries

Controversial plans for Penrith pass

A new Premier Inn is to be built in Penrith Credit: ITV Border

Controversial plans for a budget hotel in the centre of Penrith have been approved by Eden planners.

A Premier Inn will be built in the New Squares area of the town, despite some bed and breakfast owners opposing the idea.

But Planners said they were likely to turn down an application for a petrol station, close to the new hotel. The final decision is will be made at a later meeting.

One year of Penrith Park Run

Organisers and runners celebrate the first anniversary with a cake Credit: Eden District Council

More than 1,000 runners have taken part in Penrith Park Run since it began 12 months ago, clocking up 16,070km between them.

The event takes place every Saturday at 9am at the Frenchfield Sports Centre.

Race Director Ian Parker says:

Local runners of all ages and abilities have really embraced the parkrun concept; we have a fantastic turnout every week, whatever the weather! It has been an exciting and rewarding journey to reach the milestone of the events 1st Birthday, this achievement would not have been possible without the enthusiasm of the many volunteers who generously give up their time to help set up the course and marshal the event.

– Ian Parker, Race Director
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