More than half of business owners in South Lakeland are positive about the future according to the results of a wide-ranging survey.

The survey was carried out by the Economy and Culture team at South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) between October last year and February this year, with business owners invited to give their views to help shape SLDC's economic support strategies and inform plans and policies.

The results revealed that 54 per cent of respondents to the South Lakeland Business Premises Survey said they felt confident about the next 12 months, including eight per cent who said they were very confident. This compares to 73 per cent confident in the previous survey.

As well as this. 35 per cent were not very or not at all confident, compared with 17 per cent in the previous survey undertaken before coronavirus, underlining the wide-ranging and deeply-felt economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic since March last year.

A total of 244 responding businesses expect their business needs to change over the next three years. 80 would consider expanding their existing site and 20 per cent would look at moving to a larger site, while 12 per cent may acquire additional premises to satisfy their need to change.

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, portfolio holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: “Despite the tremendous economic pressures seen worldwide over the past year, these finding are testament to the amazing resilience, innovation and drive of businesses in South Lakeland.

"To find more than half are in some way confident for the next 12 months is nothing short of astounding."