ELECTRIC car supporters are charged up after the county won half a million pounds to plug a ‘black hole’ in Cumbria.

The money will be used to install new public charging points although none are planned to go in at the Lake District honeypots.

Cumbria will receive nine ‘rapid chargers’, which can power up an electric car within 30 minutes, and 14 fast-chargers that do so in four hours.

Kendal will get its own rapid charger – and two more are planned by SLDC for the Westmorland Shopping Centre multi-storey car park.

Carlisle will get two rapid chargers and others will go in at Penrith, Barrow, Whitehaven and Workington.

Fast chargers will also be installed at each end of the A66 linking Cockermouth to Keswick, and locally one in Kendal and one in Barrow.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that £9million was awarded nationwide.

Cumbria County Council will receive £562,500 and Northern Rail has also been allocated £322,500 for charging points in station car parks.

It is part of a broader Government campaign to promote electric and hybrid cars.

Solway Renewables Ltd has been an electric car charging champion in Cumbria and has installed charge points at dozens of businesses.

Director Suzanne Burgess was one of the key voices of the campaign and said she was ‘thrilled’.

“The impact of the announcement is already being felt with new applications for charging points being made over the weekend and one of our customers has already decided which Nissan Leaf he wants,” said Mrs Burgess.

In a separate scheme, the company won funding to help towards the costs for businesses to have charge points installed.

“I’d urge local people to get their applications in soon as there are already shortages of the free home charging units,” she said.

Claire Maclaine, of the GoLakes Travel Programme, said: “There is a growing network of electric car charging points across the county and it’s great to see this new investment coming to Cumbria.

”The GoLakes Travel Programme has been encouraging low carbon car use and introduced ‘pay as you drive’ electric and low-carbon cars at Oxenholme Railway Station, Coniston Boating Centre and Staveley Mill Yard.

Westmorland MP Tim Farron said the sum was won through Cumbria County Council, the district councils and its MPs working together.

He said private sector cash would draw down a further 25 per cent to take the total sum to over £750,000.

“This is yet another sign that our lobbying for infrastructure is working,” said Mr Farron.

“This will also boost our tourism sector too.”