SOUTH Cumbrian figures who played a role in slavery to be highlighted after the Government back database naming and shaming 6,500 British investors and companies with links to the horrific trade.

The Dictionary of British Slave Traders has been given £1 million in funding from the Government and will provide detailed biographies of investors involved in the Transatlantic slave trade including shareholders.

Critics have said that it could be used to 'vilify' people and businesses who may have no idea their businesses or distant relatives had links to slavery.

Concerns have also been raised that families or companies named and shamed must be given the chance to properly rebut any slavery claims before the list is published online and in a book by 2024.

niversities of Lancaster, Manchester, and University College London are the research teams behind this database and they hope this will unearth slavery links in several companies that have not publicised any detail of their historic figures involved.

Well known pub chain Greene King made public apology to black communities in Summer after details of their historic links were brought to light.

This follows news in June that research from University College London's Legacies of British Slave-ownership centre has identified thousands of slave owners who received a share of the £20m (around £17bn in today's money) in compensation from the UK Government following the abolition of slavery throughout the majority of the British Empire in 1833.

Among them were a number of south Cumbrian families, in places such as Ulverston, Milnthorpe and Bowness, where Storrs Hall still stands today.

The hall was once owned for use as a "summer villa", according to the research, by the slave trader John Bolton, from Ulverston, who was compensated by the Government following abolition.

This research helps to remind Cumbrian residents that the slave trade was never a far-off, foreign experience, but something that is interwoven into the county's history, said Mohammed Dhalech from community development group AWAZ Cumbria back in Summer. He said that our changing understanding of history helps us better understand who we are as a community today.