CONISTON Water is poised to become the new home of the celebrated annual records week.

More than three decades after it was launched, the Windermere Records Week looks set to switch to the lake this autumn, reports Michaela Robinson-Tate.

The move is said to be particularly appropriate because of Coniston's long association with Donald and Sir Malcolm Campbell, and record-breaking.

Members of the Lake District Nat-ional Park Authority's implementation committee are today (Friday) being reco-mmended to approve an applic-ation to hold the water speed record attempts on the lake where Donald Campbell lost his life while trying to break his own world record.

The switch comes after the introduction of the 10mph limit on Windermere earlier this year, which stalled the 35-year-old Windermere Records Week.

Although Coniston has had a 10mph limit for 30 years, the 1975 by-laws include a clause that provides an exemption for anyone undertaking an attempt on a British or world water speed record. It was incorporated partly because of Coniston's proud history in playing host to the Campbells.

If members approve the switch, then the LDNPA's corporate operations director Bob Cartwright said it would give the authority an opportunity to find out how the event was received by local people and businesses.

"After that we would want to sit down with the event organisers to discuss what they would like to do for future years and see how we could help them," he said.

"It could be that the organisers want to try to return to Windermere in future years, or they might appreciate holding Records Week on Coniston. We would want to discuss all options."

The chairman of the newly-named Records Week, Robin Brown, said he was delighted with the authority's response to the event, which should take place from October 30 to November 3, and could attract hundreds of people, giving a welcome late season lift to the tourist trade.

After the Windermere speed limit was announced, Mr Brown said he had asked the LDNPA to discuss the event's future.

However, he said that Records Week had been considered collectively with two other applications for exemptions, and had been rejected by members.

"We are very pleased with the co-operation we have had from the national park so far, and look forward to working with them successfully over the week," he said.

Mr Brown said he wanted to distance the event from anti-10mph protesters who had broken the law to make their point.

Coniston Parish Council held a meeting in February when villagers voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move.

Chairman Peter Hill said: "The vast majority were all in favour of it, either from a business perspective, because it's a quiet week, and for something for the locals to see and do.

"There's also a strength of feeling that Coniston's got a history of water speed records and it's quite fitting with Donald Campbell."

l Yesterday (Thursday) Cumbria Tourist Board announced plans for an emergency £60,000 media campaign following news that the county's businesses were suffering in the wake of the 10mph limit, reports Lisa Frascarelli.

Chief executive Ian Stephens said negative publicity fallout from the limit and tourist information centre closures, coupled with a gloomy national economic picture, had created a "serious situation" which had to be addressed urgently.

"We need to turn this situation round and let people know this is a yes' county not a no' county," he said. "People need to know that they can still sail on Windermere and that they can take a 4x4 on the fells. Things are worse this year than they have been for many years. It is not as bad as foot-and-mouth but it is not far off."

Mr Stephens told the commercial members' annual meeting that the CTB would be pushing forward its budgets to launch the £60,000 campaign half of which it hopes will be match-funded money - within the next couple of weeks.

He added that while many businesses were struggling those in the special interest sectors and those providing very high quality seemed to be unaffected.