SOUTH Lakes MP Tim Farron has urged ministers to bring in a new round of £10,000 business grants to protect livelihoods this winter.

It comes as new figures released today by the House of Commons library show that unemployment in Westmorland and Lonsdale in November rose by 105 compared with the previous month.

The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance has risen by 1,035 since March.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Farron said: “The Government’s investment in hospitality and tourism early on was of real benefit.

“Those £10,000 grants ensured that many businesses that would have failed were able to take advantage of the unlocking through the summer, so July and August were not a bad couple of months for hospitality and tourism in the Lakes and the Dales.

“I suggest to the Government that their failure at this point to repeat that grant support on that scale risks throwing away all the advantages they got from supporting hospitality and tourism in the early part of the year.

“What is the point of investing billions into those companies only to let them die in the next couple of months?

“That would mean that when we are able to get back to some kind of normality, you would have a bunch of dead businesses rather than having a hospitality and tourism industry ready to fight back and bounce back.

“So I encourage the Government now to repeat those £10,000 grants, to support hospitality and tourism.”