PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has pledged support will be available for Cumbria's crippled tourism industry into the winter months.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron urged the PM to provide financial support for hospitality and tourism businesses in Cumbria to take them through to next spring.

Current Government schemes are set to end in October.

Speaking during PMQs, Mr Farron said: “The virus effectively turned summer in to winter for Cumbrian tourism.

“Ending government funding in October though, will mean three winters in a row, causing severe hardship on top of the already 312 per cent increase in unemployment locally.

“So will the Prime Minister provide a support package for tourism and hospitality in the Lakes, the Dales and elsewhere, to see them through to the spring of 2021?”

In response the PM said: “We’re certainly looking at all sorts of packages to help the tourism industry over the winter period so that their winter as it were can be a kind of summer when we can get things open again.

“There will be all sorts of packages, but I don’t want to extend the schemes that we currently have.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Farron said: “I’m pleased to see the Prime Minister commit to bringing forward financial support to tourism and hospitality over the winter, though it’s disappointing that the current schemes won’t be extended.

“I’ll continue to work with Cumbria Tourism and our amazing local hospitality and tourism businesses to see that support does indeed become a reality.”

Mr Farron has been pushing the government on this issue for some time now as he is aware of the impact that coronavirus has had on business in the area, especially in regard to hospitality and tourism.

Mr Johnson opened PMQs by insisting he is “very proud” of the Government’s record in tacking coronavirus and rejected claims by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer that the test, track and trace system is not yet fully operational.