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Askham Hall awarded as a 'superior quality' attraction

The Penrith attraction is the first in Cumbria to win the award Credit: ITV Border

Askham Hall in Penrith has become the first Cumbrian tourist attraction to be given a new 'superior quality' award.

The eight-hundred-year old property recently opened its doors as a hotel and restaurant.

The Tourism Quality Cumbria scheme was developed seven years ago in a bid to improve standards of visitor accommodation.

Those given the award are considered to be 'the best of the best'.

Weather boosts Lake District tourism

Tourist businesses say they're enjoying one of the best Easter weekends they've had for many years.

The good weather has brought visitors in large numbers to the Lake District and other attractions in the region.

Last year was very cold whereas this year it's nice and sunny. Much different to last year. Passenger figures are way up on last year. Our larger vessels have had 8 trips a day with around 400 people on each. It's been the busiest weekend we've known for a long time here. "

– John Woodburn, Windermere Lake Cruises

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New floating jetty for Windermere's eastern shore

Windermere's new jetty Credit: ITV Border

The new jetty is on the eastern side of Windermere and it's hoped its addition will increase tourism in that area.

Private boats can drop off at it for free. Windermere Lake Cruises will operate a bike boat from Brockhole Visitor Centre from May with a request stop on its other services.

Windermere's new floating jetty

Windermere has a new floating jetty. It has been towed up the length of the lake to its new home at Bark Barn on the eastern shore.

"To start with I don't think the numbers will be enormous so it won't be a commercial proposition but we hope that this is a long-term investment that in due course will benefit tourism for the South Lakeland area."

– Emma Moody, Go Lakes Travel

It has been paid for by the Go Lakes Travel in the hope it will bring more tourists to the quieter side of the lake.

Private boats can drop off at it for free. Windermere Lake Cruises will operate a bike boat from Brockhole Visitor Centre from May with a request stop on its other services.

Tourism funding for West Cumbria cut

Funding to support tourism in West Cumbria has been cut, and there's a warning the area may suffer as result.

In the past, tourism has benefitted from nearly half a million pounds in funding from Britain's Energy Coast.

That grant is now being stopped, though the organisation insists it will continue to invest in West Cumbria. Paul Crone has the story.

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Business Improvement District in Kendal

Shops on Highgate in Kendal would be included in the Business Improvement District. Credit: ITV News Border

Next Friday shop owners in Kendal will decide if they want to have an organisation that works to make business better.

If businesses vote yes, they'll pay 1% of the value of their property to the Business Improvement District (BID) for the next five years.

The scheme is aimed at raising over £150,000 a year.

Barry Speak, who owns Robinson's Electric in Kirkland, Kendal, is voting for the BID. He said:

"Many retailers moan about how the Council spends their money, well this is your chance to spend your money as you see fit."

Shops on Highgate in Kendal would be included in the scheme Credit: ITV News Border

Scottish Government will "take responses into account"

"The Scottish Government consulted on the draft Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) earlier this year.

"It included proposals to guide local authorities in the preparation of spatial frameworks for wind energy development.

"We received a large number of responses to the consultation, including many views on onshore wind, and will take these responses into account when we publish the finalised SPP next year."

– Scottish Government spokesman
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