CUMBRIA'S new High Sheriff said it was "beyond an honour" to take up the role and celebrate the county.

Marcia Reid Fotheringham was sworn in at a ceremony at the Nisi Prius Court in Carlisle on Thursday and becomes the first black High Sheriff to be appointed in Cumbria.

Asked about what it was like to make history she said: "It's beyond and honour and it's very humbling that I was given the chance. It is huge and for that reason I feel even more pressure to do a good job."

Supported by her family including her husband Jim, Marcia said it was a huge day for her.

She hopes her year as High Sheriff will be a memorable one and one that is beneficial to the people of Cumbria

"I'm feeling on top of the world," she told the News & Star. "The seriousness of the role is just a huge responsibility because my intention is to get it right.

"The fun part of the role means I get to play a little bit and celebrate Cumbria."

Born in London and raised and educated in the United States, she moved from Boston to Cumbrian in 1996 to marry Jim Fotheringham.

She has served as a magistrate since 2001, latterly taking on the role of chairwoman of the North & West Cumbria Bench, something she has temporarily retired from as she takes up her new duty.

Jim said: "I'm very proud. She has worked so hard on the bench and it's a well deserved reward.

"I think she gives, as has had happened with previous high sheriffs, they are bringing life to a some what archaic role.

"It really is celebrating Cumbria and the Cumbrian population in an inclusive sort of way."

Kevin Reid, who had come from New York, to celebrate his sister's new appointment, said he was "so proud" of his sister's accomplishments.