HIGH street stores and businesses across Cumbria are being encouraged to sign up to a new scheme that gives discounts to serving and former members of the armed forces and their families.

Westmorland MP Tim Farron wants to see local businesses support the move and past and has urged present veterans to sign up and take advantage of special offers in recognition of their service.

The scheme called Defence Discount Service - sees special ‘privilege cards’ given out allowing money off in those stores taking part for service personnel, veterans, military spouses and widows.

Around 29,000 Defence Privilege Cards are in circulation nationally.

Mr Farron said: “This is a great opportunity for local businesses and services to not only provide something of value to service people as a way of thanking them for what they do on our behalf, but also a very shrewd move for businesses too."

The Defence Discount Service was launched in October last year and announced by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

Prime Minister David Cameron then launched the privilege card in December.

The Defence Discount Service now has more than 108,000 members. Among the businesses to sign up include Cotswold Outdoor, Iceland, Vodafone, KFC and Burton.

The service is open to serving armed forces, veterans, spouses of serving personnel and the defence community. For full details of who can apply and to register for free visit their website www.defencediscountservice.co.uk.

Businesses wanting to offer discounts should visit www.defencediscountservice.co.uk/support or email them at corporate@defencediscountservice.co.uk