A plea has gone out to businesses and communities across Cumbria to back Carlisle airport's freeport campaign.

Bosses from Stobart Group, which owns the airport met with Carlisle City Council and MP John Stevenson on Monday to discuss the airport's bid to become a freeport.

Under the Government proposals, post-Brexit, 10 locations across the country would have different customs rules than the rest of the UK.

The Government wants to confirm the locations this year, so the first could be open as early as 2021.

Following a 10-week consultation, potential freeports will be invited to bid for the status.

Goods which come into a freeport avoid tariffs and the areas can benefit from other incentives, such as tax breaks.

Other measures could include duties only being paid on final goods, but not on raw materials that are imported into the area.

Kate Willard, of Stobart Group, met with Carlisle City Council chief executive Jason Gooding and Mr Stevenson, and she said it was fantastic to have their support and hoped it would be backed across the county.

She added: “Our proposal is unique because of the cross-border nature of the airport and the ongoing strong partnership between the airport and the council.

“We believe awarding the a irport with freeport status will boost innovation, trade and investment across the region and that is why we want everyone in Cumbria and the Lake District to back our bid.

Mr Gooding added: “A freeport at Carlisle Lake District Airport would not only deliver clear economic benefits in its own right, it would enhance the effectiveness of the substantial investments of public and private money that are being made in our region.

"Confidence and opportunity has never been higher in the Borderlands region which is why we need to work together as partners to make the case for a freeport."