Two online groups set up to support local businesses during the coronavirus crisis have attracted thousands of members in just a few weeks.

Gemma Dinsdale, Copeland Borough councillor for Corkickle, set up the Small Business Support Copeland Facebook group in March as the country approached the coronavirus shutdown.

She said it was intended as a way to connect people with local firms and let them know which were open for business and how they were operating.

At the same time Tony McCrea, from Aspatria, set up a similar page for Allerdale.

Just over six weeks later the pages have nearly 3000 combined members and have helped promote businesses of all types across the area, many of them supplying food and drink and other essentials.

"I thought it would be good to support the local businesses who are really trying to keep going through the restrictions," said Coun Dinsdale.

"If people are still working and not really getting the reach they are hoping for we can offer this support to them at this time.

"A lot of them are doing delivery and a lot are doing click and collect.

"It is good to see how quickly they are all adapting and it's just about giving them some support."

Coun Dinsdale said many people had said they were going to change their shopping behaviour for good after using local suppliers rather than going to the supermarket.

"They are saying it's like a new lease of life," she said.

"A lot of people are saying I don't understand why I wasn't using these small businesses before because it takes so much of the stress out of it."