An "intimidating" Whitehaven footpath targeted by drug users and anti-social behaviour is to receive a major revamp.

The area around Mirehouse cattle arch, used daily by schoolchildren and the community, has been littered with drug paraphernalia and attacked by vandals.

Now, a town councillor has handed over £10,000 to transform the area which she says is an "anti-social hot-spot".

Jayne Laine, councillor for the Mirehouse ward, said: "It can be rather intimidating for many walking through here regardless of it being daytime or nighttime.

"This area is constantly littered and despite attempts for community litter picks one has to err on the side of caution, as there are many undesirable items that you would definitely not want children or adults picking up.

"Certain items - drug paraphernalia, must be collected and disposed of professionally.

"It has always been an anti-social hot-spot for as many years as even I can remember."

Flooding issues around the cattle arches have also resulted in pupils, who use the route, arriving at the nearby Valley Primary School with wet feet.

Mirehouse Residents' Group has been given the £10,000 boost from Whitehaven Town Council to transform the area.

The cash will be used to improve the area, as part of an £18,000 regeneration scheme, around the cycle path, at the rear of Valley School.

The stone structure and steps leading up to the school have also been removed to deter young people from congregating there.

Mirehouse Residents Youth Group will now help landscape the area and there are also plans to add graffiti art to the cattle arch, on a surface with anti-graffiti coating, so any defacement can easily be removed.

Mrs Laine said: "As a resident of Mirehouse and as a town councillor representing this ward this area is one of high priority and has been for a long time.

"Ever since becoming a councillor I have highlighted the need for investment in this particular area of land.

"This area will hopefully become a much safer area to walk through as parents drop their children off and collect at school.

"For many on the estate it has been a way of life and it's not fair that an area like this is left unkempt. It’s not fair that residents have to walk all the way round the estate simply to get their children to school, bypassing all the flooding.

And she added: "I am thoroughly delighted that the Whitehaven Town Council was able to grant this money to Mirehouse Residents Group for this project and on behalf of both 07 and 09 side residents and I’m sure visitors to our town travelling through."

A Copeland Council spokesman said: “The Wasdale railway arch is a known area where young people congregate, and it receives extra cleaning attention as a result.

"Although we have a team of 15 to keep the whole borough clean and resources are stretched, we prioritise all known problem areas and Wasdale cattle arch is checked and cleaned at least twice weekly, and every day during school holidays.

“However, if a needle is reported to us on land that we own or are responsible for, it will be removed at the earliest opportunity. We urge residents to contact us on 01946 598300 or”