A husband and wife team have launched a new business inspired by the memory of her late mother who died in a tragic accident.

Penny and Dave Allison have opened Allison’s Kennel and Cattery, which they will run alongside Penny’s sister Vicky Copley.

Penny, 45, and Vicky, 49, were devastated when mum Ann Copley, 76, died following a crash on the A66, near Penrith, in August.

However, Penny said they had channelled their grief into opening the new venture.

She said it had been a long-term ambition to work with animals and Ann, who lived in Carlisle at the time of her death, had always supported them in following their dreams and pursuing something that would allow them to spend more time with their children.

Formerly Penny was branch manager at Santander, in Penrith, while Vicky - who lives in Kendal - was manager at Monsoon in Lancaster.

“It’s quite a career change,” said Penny.

“Before mum passed away she had seen us start the foundations of the kennels and she thought it would be a fantastic idea for both of us.

“Throughout this last year we have ploughed everything into doing it in her memory.”

The business, which is just off the A66 at Bolton, near Appleby, has room for up to 32 dogs and 20 cats.

It is the first business to be given a five star rating by Eden District Council under new licensing regulations that came into force in October.

The kennel opened earlier this month and its furry boarders can expect heated accommodation, regular exercise and 24 hour veterinary support.

“We wanted to create something slightly higher end, that you might not find in a normal kennels,” said Penny.

“We are doing it primarily for the love of the animals. It’s important to us to offer a home-from-home environment where animals will be well cared for, as well as having plenty of space to exercise, have fun and enjoy the countryside.”

Penny said Ann had been planning to help out at the kennels and cattery.

“She was looking forward to supporting us with day to day jobs, she would have just loved the last week.”