A £14.5m project to carry out state-of-the-art improvements of the roof at Carlisle Railway Station is almost complete.

Scores of glass panels have been removed and replaced with Ethlene tetra fluoro ethylene - known as ETFE.

The steel beams in the roof have also been given a fresh lick of paint and are now slate grey, rather than their previous yellow.

Network Rail, which owns the station and leases it to rail operator Virgin Trains, said that work was needed as the life of the existing roof had "expired", with broken, loose glazing and defective lead flashing.

There were also leaks and maintenance access was deemed to be unsafe.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “The transformation of Carlisle station with the stunning new roof is visible for all to see, providing a hugely improved welcome to the city.

"There is still some work to complete before all the scaffolding is removed and the full benefit of our £14.5m Great North Rail Project is realised."

The new roof installed is big enough to cover the pitch at Carlisle United's Brunton Park one-and-a-half times over.

The project has also seen beams high above the tracks and platform.

The material, which has already been installed at Manchester Victoria and Birmingham New Street railway stations, has also been used on the Eden Project in Cornwall as well as the Allianz Arena, in Munich.

Network Rail says the new roof will make the building safer for both staff and passengers.

It will also provide improved and safer maintenance access.

New lighting has also been installed, which it is hoped will make the station brighter and more welcoming.

The work is the first major refurbishment the station has had in more than 40 years.

On average around 125 passenger trains and 90 freight trains pass through Carlisle station every day and it has an annual footfall of 2.4 million people.

BLOB Plans for Cumbria's transport future will fall under the spotlight next week.

Transport for the North is holding a meeting in at The Beacon, Whitehaven, between 4pm and 7pm on Tuesday.

There, senior figures will speak about their vision for the region, which could include upgrades to key roads - and which have already triggered debate about how the A595 may be affected.

Keith Little, the Cumbria County councillor responsible for highways, said: "We’ve worked closely with Transport for the North to help develop this plan.

"We’re very keen to hear what people and businesses in Cumbria think of it so I’d really encourage people to come along, find out more and share their views.

"Cumbria is an important part of the northern economy and improved transport infrastructure is critical in supporting businesses, local communities and our future economic growth."