Carlisle Airport owner Stobart Group's aircraft leasing subsidiary Propius has signed a deal worth more than £50m with a German firm to lease eight aircraft.

It has put pen to paper with GOAL (German Operating Aircraft Leasing) for the ATR72-600 aeroplanes.

Stobart will receive net proceeds of $62.7 million (£50.2m) in the deal, which will be used to fund investment in the company's aviation division and strengthen its financial position.

The leases run for 10 years but can be terminated after six. They are worth $12.3m (£9.9m) a year.

Stobart will keep operating the aeroplanes through its Stobart Air division by providing flights under its agreement with Irish operator Aer Lingus.

Warwick Brady, deputy group chief executive officer, said: "We are pleased to have refinanced these aircraft with GOAL.

"Aviation is a core part of the group's strategy to grow the overall business. This transaction will provide additional flexibility to invest and grow both our Dublin-based regional airline, Stobart Air, and London Southend Airport where we are focused on our target of delivering 2.5m passengers annually by 2018."