A camera retailer, which has branches in Carlisle and Kendal, has secured a £200,000 Government-backed loan.

Frank Wilkinson Cameras Limited, which has 10 outlets across the north, including in The Lanes in Carlisle and Kendal's Westmorland Shopping Centre, has got the cash from Barclays via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

It employs 50 people and was forced to close all its shops, although is still trading online.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be able to help the business with the cash flow it needed to make payments to suppliers and protect its workers.

David Parkinson, managing director, said: “Like-for-like sales in April were at 50 per cent year-on-year thanks to our online sales and the hard work of our customer service team, but the lockdown was clearly going to have a huge impact on our business, so we asked Barclays for support.

"The rapid response from both Barclays and Government will hopefully secure our position and that of our knowledgeable staff within the photo industry for many more years, post Covid-19.”

Leigh Tregonning, Barclays relationship manager, said: “David and the team have put in a huge amount of work to build a strong and successful business by employing highly trained and knowledgeable staff who can offer a point of difference to all the online competition.

"When coronavirus impacted them and they were forced to close all their stores, we moved quickly to discuss how Barclays could help.

"Now they have the financial headroom to get through this uncertain time and enough fuel to be ready to bounce back when the time comes to reopen its chain of stores.”