More than £650,000 has been invested in improving the appearance of more than 100 commercial premises across Copeland.

Mayor Mike Starkie launched the Pride of Place building grants scheme in 2017.

So far, 109 businesses have benefited.

They include Whitehaven's Humbug Sweet Shop, Guise, Kingdom Hair Studio, Richardson's Wine Shop, Queen Street Dental Clinic, Flower Basket, Bella Vita Beauty, the Marchon Club, Sporthouse and Kinsella's.

In Millom, Cambridge House Hotel, Stag's Gents Hair Salon, Deano's Plaice, Millom Workies, Pelleymounters, Curry Spice, The Hair Gallery, and the Beggars Theatre, have had grants.

In Egremont, the Star Take-Away, Unique You, Royal British Legion, Spuds & Co, Fraser's Fish & Chips, Heritage Centre and 57 Main Street have taken part.

In Cleator Moor, the town council building, Blush Beauty, Moor Sports, Commercial, Graphskill, 14, 77, 22 and 23 High Street have been overhauled.

Other properties include the Black Beck Hotel, Summergrove, Ennerdale Brewery, 54 Main Street – Distington, Miners Arms, Haverigg Post Office, Tracey Telfer Fitness, Woodalls Butchers, and Pelleymounters in Seascale.

Mr Starkie said: “The difference this scheme has brought to the appearance of business premises in the borough is phenomenal.

“It’s evident that this funding was much needed by the number of applications we received and the fact that more than 100 premises in the borough have been revitalised.

“We understand that some high street businesses are struggling in the current economy and we want to do everything in our power to invest in our local economy and high streets.

“We have more than 100 businesses here that may not have been able to make vital improvements to business premises without these grants.

“We’re thrilled with the visual improvements that the scheme has made to premises right across the borough and thank everyone involved, including our officers, who worked tirelessly with local businesses to make Copeland a better place to live, work and visit.”

The scheme, which is now closed for applications, encouraged businesses to apply for up to £5,000 for improvements to shopfronts, windows and frames, doorways, external decoration and signage.

Grants were awarded for up to 50 per cent of the cost of the works, which meant that businesses were required to invest in their premises to match-fund the grant.

The scheme is part of the Council’s Pride of Place campaign, which encourages residents and businesses to take pride in their borough and work towards making Copeland a better place to live, work and visit.