Two shops in Kendal have announced their imminent closures, adding to concerns about the future of the high street.

Both 'Christmas and More' and the Bakehouse revealed over the weekend that their doors would be closing.

Whilst the team at the Bakehouse made the decision due to family reasons, the owners of 'Christmas and More' explained that they could not cope with the rise in rental prices.

Peter Brendling, the Kendal Business Improvement District manager, said: "Fortunately both shops are in good locations within the town so hopefully the units will not be empty for long.

"This being said, it is undoubtedly a tough time for retailers - we have had lockdown, high energy costs and inflation is on the rise."

The worry is that, if more backing is not shown by the community towards similar local businesses, more will follow in the wake of the most recent closures.

Read more: Kendal Christmas shop loses the festive spirit after closing 

"Retailers' costs have risen steeply and in many case they can not pass this on to the consumer as they, too, have been affected by these things," Mr Brendling added.

"We would ask shoppers to support local businesses where they can and shop local."

The harsh conditions for up and coming businesses highlights how difficult it might be for any people who take over the now empty units.

The news came as new figures showed hundreds of businesses in South Lakeland shut their doors for good in 2022.

More UK businesses closed last year since records began in 2002, surpassing the number of new start-ups founded for the first year since 2010.

In his autumn statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a range of tax cuts to aid businesses.

This included making a tax break allowing firms to cut their bills if they invest in new equipment permanent, in what he claimed was the "biggest business tax cut in modern history".

Think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research said the rising number of closing businesses is a "potential warning sign for the British economy", blaming high energy costs and the end of coronavirus pandemic support schemes.

Office for National Statistics figures show around 470 businesses in South Lakeland ceased trading in 2022 – up from 405 the year before.

Some 5,650 businesses were active last year, meaning the 'business death rate' – the percentage of businesses that closed – has risen to 8.3%.

This is marginally above the 'business birth rate' – the percentage of businesses that began trading – of 8.2%, with around 465 created last year.