A £3million cash boost for Cumbria County Council from Government has been welcomed as the authority deals with the financial hit of coronavirus.

The sum is the county council's cut of a £4.2m pot of cash given to the county to help soften the blow of the pandemic on its councils.

Peter Thornton, the council's deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said it was a much-needed top-up to the £25m the authority had already been given since lockdown restrictions were introduced in March.

He said: "It is very welcome and if we got a payment of this every week we'd be quite happy.

"It will be used for plugging the gaps in our income."

Councillor Thornton stressed that the council was not in "immediate danger" of running out of money but said revenues were still nowhere near the levels they were at pre-pandemic.

And he warned that the Government would need to make good on a pledge to cover council costs related to coronavirus, particularly if there was a second wave of the outbreak later in the year which the county had to deal with.

"I don't think any of the businesses in Cumbria – and the council is a business in many ways – will be back to normal this year," he said.

The council is beginning to plan its budget for the 2021-22 financial year but Coun Thornton said it was difficult to plan ahead without a solution to social care.

"The one thing I really want to emphasise is that the solution to social care is the key to our budget," he added.