LAKELAND business bosses have voiced strong concerns after the Olympic Games failed to boost their trade.

A survey of companies operating in Windermere and Bowness found this summer’s event played ‘a part in the downturn of the local economy’, along with poor weather and the recession.

Responses from 17 anonymous firms across the area revealed 88 per cent had not experienced an increase in turnover with four of the businesses reporting a decrease of more than 15 per cent.

The greatest proportion of responders said the Games were not a good thing for Windermere and Bowness and it would make no difference to the rest of their trading year.

A statement issued by Windermere and Bowness Chamber of Trade said: “Despite what the Government and other officials have said regarding the economic plusses to be gained from the Olympics, this has not manifested itself in the Windermere and Bowness area.”

It concluded more needed to be done to find financial support for the area, and to plan publicity for Windermere and Bowness.

One firm said: “Businesses in this area are in dire need of assistance due to falling visitor numbers and failing economy.”

Another added: “A lot of the usual attractions were cancelled due to the weather or lack of investment.”

Several said they had hopes of a positive long-term Games legacy.

Jonathan Denby, chairman of the Lakes Hospitality Association (LHA), said he hoped strong trading throughout September and October would make up for “awful trade” experienced by firms in the area this summer.

And Ian Stephens, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “Our open and friendly reputation resulting from the Games will result in people thinking this is the place to visit.”