An international company based in the Lake District which ran courses to develop and challenge the managers of leading world companies was named one of the top 10 companies to work for in the United Kingdom in 2009.

Impact International, whose headquarters were based in Windermere, were recognised at the prestigious Sunday Times Best Small Company to Work For awards.

The award saw them rise eight places from the previous year's list.

Impact International scored an impressive 85 per cent when people were quizzed about how much the firm gave back to the local area.

Despite having offices throughout the world, including New York and Tokyo, the heart of the company was still based in the Lake District.

Founder and managing director of the company, David Williams, was born in Cumbria and lived near Ulverston.

He paid tribute to both his staff and his clients when accepting the award, explaining: "Great places to work are made up of great people. I would like to extend a personal thanks to Impact's people, our clients and supporters globally."

Impact International was a business consultancy firm, which aimed to bring passion and inspiration to people development.

It was established in 1980 and had expanded greatly since then. It had a varied clientele, ranging from major corporations such as Nike and Honda to Knowsley Borough Council.

Louise McDonald, speaking from the company's headquarters in Windermere, said that the award would be good for businesses.

The following year Impact International retained its three-star status in the Best Companies Accreditation 2010.

Three stars meant the way the company treated its staff was 'extraordinary'.

The measure of the best companies was run by The Sunday Times.

Impact was one of just 50 companies to get three-star status. Only six firms in the North West received the status.