Comet, Jessops, Blockbuster, Toys 'R' Us and Famous Names have all closed in 2013. Forty shops in Carlisle city centre are currently vacant.
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People interested in fostering young people in the Scottish Borders are being urged to come forward.
John Lamont, MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, has announced his resignation to concentrate on his General Election campaign.
The iconic international fashion designer is hosting a talk at the University of Cumbria in June.