A quantity surveyor is celebrating bringing people together at its inaugural fitness festival.

Solomons Europe launched the Fit District Festival at the weekend with support from fitness, wellbeing and nutrition experts from across Cumbria and beyond.

The company opened the fields of Drybeck Farm, Armathwaite, to a range of fitness activities, ranging from gentle mindfulness and contemplation, to high intensity interval training and aerial dance.

The idea for the event came from Solomons founders Dominic and Kerry Doig, as part of their Pay it Forward programme, which was launched in 2018 and aims to put something back into local businesses and the wider community.

They primarily wanted to give their staff an opportunity to kick start a commitment to the NHS five ways to wellbeing, but they also opened up the event to other SMEs, their clients and local people.

Kerry, who is strategic director,for Solomons, said: “This latest chapter in our Pay it Forward story has turned out to be one of the best experiences we have ever had.

"When we first said we were going to host a festival you could see people thinking ‘are you crazy’?

"And they were right – it turned out to be a far bigger project than we first thought.

"But we were really lucky - everyone we spoke to approached the project with a positive attitude and generosity of spirit, which enabled us to offer a fantastic opportunity to so many people to have a go at things they might never have tried before.

"I’ve lost count of how many people have asked us if we are going to do it again next year, so I think everyone must have enjoyed taking part.”

Dominic said a chance meeting with Emma Robinson and Laura Berry of Fit District, Ambleside, in the early stages of festival planning made a huge contribution in assembling the group of fitness instructors.

He said: “We couldn’t have done it without the Fit District girls.

"They were able to find a premier league group of committed and enthusiastic instructors who really got people going in the stage sessions – this made a huge difference to the day, and we are immensely grateful to everyone who gave their time to do this for all the lucky attendees who took part.

"The whole weekend was built on generosity of spirit from everyone."

The festival offered a host of fitness activities for attendees to try, from wild swimming to stand up paddle boarding, pilates, piloxing and active yoga.

Those sharing their expertise on the stage included Libby Dixon Pilates, Sarah Brook Fitness, Amy Johnson from Lifecycol and award winning luxury retreat coaches, James and Claire Davis from 38 degrees North.

Those offstage included Claire and Jon from Whitehaven based Better Bodies UK. Attendees also had the chance to learn new skills like aerial dance from Georgi Thorns, mindfulness from Martin Summerfield of Anchorpoint and paediatric first aid from Natalie Groggins of Little Lifers First Aid.