IT is good news that Cumbria is preparing a bid for new funding from the Government for tourism but it is important not to get carried away at this early stage.

Submitting a bid and winning one are two entirely different things altogether.

Cumbria will have to compete to stake a claim for the cash.

It will also be necessary for the county to push back against the perception that tourism here is a solid success story which does not need taxpayers' cash.

Just how keen are ministers going to be to sink money into an already saturated market ranking among the most visited areas of the country?

Isn't that like awarding sand to the Sahara?

Hopefully, this fund is more about giving a leg up to those areas which don't have a strong tourism sector.

Therefore, it would be good to see Morecambe Bay and Furness made a central argument for this type of funding.

It's areas like these which most stand to benefit from assistance so that the sector can be properly developed to its full potential.

Manufacturing continues to be the number one sector in the Furness area and it's high time there was Government support to expanding our offer. And sorting out the A590 has to be all part of the mix if we are serious about attracting more visitors.