STAFF from a Kendal insurance brokers which closed for business had their first day in their new roles on Monday.

Workers from the now closed Swinton branch at Stricklandgate have begun the next chapter of their careers at South Lakes Insurance Solutions at Allhallows Lane.

Manager Sarah Speddy is joined by brokers Karen Boak and Haydn Mackay at the new business, which has been launched by Andy Gould who owns Yorkshire-based White Rose Solutions.

Mr Mackay said the closure of Swinton left a whole in the community for people who relied on their brokers.

"After the floods of 2015 we had a lot of customers coming in and they valued having a branch they could visit so we felt it was needed," he said.

"For us personally it was quite a big thing because we had a lot of footfall. People appreciate being able to go into a branch, especially elderly people who may struggle on the phone.

"For some people, being able to speak to somebody in person can take a bit of the stress off you and we saw that during the floods."

Mr Gould saw the value of a branch in the community for himself when he visited Kendal after hearing of the closure of Swinton.

Mr Mackay added: "He heard it was shutting down so came to see if there were any staff who wanted jobs at his branches.

"But he saw the community spirit of people visiting the Kendal business and wanted to open up a local branch for people here."