Businesses in Kendal have voted to keep the town’s Business Improvement District for another five years.

And they have been urged to play an active role in its work by applying to be part of the new BID board which will be elected next year.

“When people get involved they benefit from it and we want people to come forward with ideas of what we can do and how we can do things better,” said BID manager Sarah Williams.

“There is lots and lots of work to be done and we need people to stand up and be counted; come and be part of it.”

A postal ballot was circulated to the scheme's 688 members asking if they were in favour of renewing the scheme, and of 271 votes cast, 165 were in favour of renewing the BID.

The BID was established in April 2014 and raises an annual levy from businesses within a certain specified area in central Kendal, which it is charged with investing in initiatives to benefit those traders.

It collects an annual levy from the businesses equal to one per cent of their rateable value - providing they have a rateable value over £3000.

In the 2017 to 2018 financial year, Kendal BID raised a total of £185,300 - £152,000 from the levy - and spent £163,437 on its activities.

This has included financial and promotional support for events such as MintFest, Lakes Alive and Kendal Mountain Festival.

It has also established Summer and Christmas trails through the town, contributed to the development of a new brand for Kendal and helped establish the Swipii loyalty card system.

Its business plan for 2019 to 2024 outlines nearly £700,000 of spending.

This will include work to lobby on behalf of the businesses, as well as a proposal to re-instate Kendal’s Chamber of Trade with the aim of providing more opportunities for networking and business support.

It will also look to promote the town as a “destination rather than a gateway” drawing tourists from the Lake District and making the most of the national park’s World Heritage Site status.

Work will also include further development of loyalty card schemes in Kendal and “rebuilding the lost infrastructure such as toilets, coach parking, and further facilities for events”.