A CORNER of London will have a distinctly Northern flavour today as a mass delegation from Cumbria heads to the heart of Government to win friends and influence MPs.
Dozens of leaders from the tourism, farming, food, drink and the nuclear sectors, are due to arrive in the House of Commons to hoist the flag for the first ever Cumbria Day.
Organised by the county's MPs, Cumbria Tourism and the Taste Cumbria team, around 80 county representatives from micro-businesses to public sector bodies, are due in London.
The aim is to encourage greater government investment and commitment to the county's thriving industries to help them and the county economy grow.
A series of networking events are being held and Cumbrian food-tasting to spread a pro-county message to key decision makers.
All of Cumbria's cross-party MPs are attending in a unique united front.
Few areas of Cumbria are not represented, with attendees heading from the Lake District to Carlisle and from West Cumbria to Appleby, and many more.
Among the South Lakeland contingent were Simon Berry, head of the English Lakes Hotels group; Maria Whitehead and Kate Nicholson, of Hawkshead Relish, Peter Hensman of the Kendal-based Lake District Estates Company, and Nigel Wilkinson, MD of Windermere Lake Cruises.
Richard Leafe, head of the Lake District National Park Authority, Jeanette Edgar representing the Lakeland Arts Trust, Staveley's award-winning MORE bakery, and highly-acclaimed Michelin star chef, Simon Rogan of L’Enclume, were among many others expected.
Also in attendance included acclaimed mountaineer and Lake District advocate Doug Scott, representing Community Action Nepal, First Milk representatives and HM Haverigg
The morning involves a welcome address from Penrith and the Border MP, Rory Stewart.
Among those goodies being served up included Cumberland sausage, Penrith Fudge; marmalade from Dalemain Marmalade Festival near Ullswater and fine ales from the Ulverston Brewing Company; Hard Knott Brewery established in Eskdale but now based in Millom, and Coniston Brewery.
Cheeses from the Lake District Cheese Company and Appleby Creamery; pies and cakes from the Broughton-in-Furness Village Bakery; Green’s Bakers and Confectioners from Barrow, and Grasmere Gingerbread.
Also due to speak at the event was Sellafield deputy MD, George Beveridge, who is chairman of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, and has been winning government grants for the county by developing bids with local businesses alongside Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.
James Berresford, head of tourism for VisitEngland was due to underline the importance of the Lake District to the country’s tourism performance.
The event will be temporarily suspended for Prime Minister’s Questions before resuming in the afternoon.
- If you're heading to the event, don't forget you can tweet us at @gazettenewsdesk with your thoughts on how it's going and we'll endeavour to RT as many as possible. Remembering the hashtag #cumbriaday