Businesses need to work together to pull off Maryport's ambitious regeneration programme.

This should include a collaboration of industries in West Cumbrian town, according to Allerdale council's policy manager Andrew Hines.

"There are sections of Maryport, especially in Ewanrigg, where skills are low and people are unable to obtain higher-paying jobs. On the other hand, we hear of businesses who cannot recruit because of a shortage of skills.

"Training is often not available here so employees are sent away at some expense. What we should be doing is gathering businesses of the same need, both locally and over West Cumbria. If they joined forces they could bring training here at a lesser cost and less time away from the job for the employee."

Around 60 people representing a wide range of retail, service and industry businesses agreed, at a meeting on Wednesday night, to set up a Chamber of Trade similar to that in Cockermouth.

Allerdale's business engagement manager Toni Magean will now look to forming the chamber next month with a view to starting work in the New Year.

Business people after the meeting said it would only work if driven properly.

"We have tried this before," said one.

Many were inspired, however, by the chairman of the Cockermouth Chamber of Trade Alan Marshall who spoke of how various organisations had tried and failed in that town before the newly established chamber.

He said the key was working together and not to be negative.

The meeting, called by Allerdale council, gave an overview of plans to regenerate the town.

Andrea Hine spoke of the need to know the town's market and tailor it to the community they are serving.

Regeneration team leaders Graeme Wilson and Paul Taylor, said regeneration would cover four aspects of the town: the harbour, the Promenade, Downstreet and the high street which includes Curzon, Senhouse and streets running off them.

More information about the programme for regeneration should be available by December 6, they said.