Stars have been lining up to give tourism in Cumbria a boost after an estimated £1.5 million was lost by businesses during the coronavirus lockdown.

Celebrities are included in those shouting about Cumbria’s high points as part of a recovery campaign in an effort to encourage more people to visit the area.

Cumbria Tourism’s reopening drive encourages the UK to embark on staycations in the area, taking advantage of its areas of natural beauty.

The campaign has received backing from famous faces like David Hasselhoff, Anna Friel and Cumbrian Helen Skelton.

In her testament to Blencathra, TV personality Helen said: “You could travel halfway around the world and struggle to find views half as good.

"The hike is rewarding, the views are stunning and even on a miserable day, the atmosphere is breathtaking.”

The campaign was launched amid fears for the hard-hit tourism industry as the furlough scheme comes to an end.

However, Workington MP Mark Jenkinson believes there are reasons to be positive.

“I’ve visited quite a lot of businesses and I’m receiving quite positive reports that their numbers are quite healthy at the minute," he said.

However he added that it is important to support the tourism industry in Cumbria following the coronavirus lockdown.

He said: “People aren’t going abroad in the numbers that they were and they won’t be for some time.

“It’s really important that we support our hospitality industry.”

There are concerns for jobs in the tourism industry as the end of the furlough scheme approaches on October 31.

Mr Jenkinson added: “The flexibility around furlough was brought in to deal with some of that. I was concerned about furlough coming to an end but the feedback I’m getting at the minute is not as gloomy as some would believe.”

It is not the first time that famous faces have celebrated the region.

Actor Ed Westwick recently visited the area including the Inn at the Bush, Wigton.

The pub’s owner, Colin Smithson, said that famous faces visiting Cumbria is a boost for local business.

He said: “That gets a great deal of activity here.

“If it wasn’t for the tourist industry we wouldn’t be here.”

He added that improved infrastructure such as roads could benefit country pubs like his.

“We need to improve the use of infrastructure," he added.

The pub’s trade was twice as good in August but the beginning of September onwards has been a difficult period.

And it is hoped that 'staycationers' will support hospitality businesses and the economy in Copeland.

Mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie said: "Copeland has always been a hidden gem – far from the crowds of the Lakeland honeypots, but still incredibly beautiful, with some outstanding tourism businesses.

He said: "Tourism is an important sector for Copeland – recently we appointed a Tourism Development Officer to support businesses in making the most of opportunities, and much of our regeneration agenda has tourism as a key strand."
Copeland Borough Council has recently held a Pride of Place campaign, encouraging residents to take pride in their area. The campaign led to a 30 per cent reduction in reports of fly-tipping. The volume of fly-tipped waste collected decreased by over 50 per cent.
"We’ve also just begun looking into whether Copeland has the potential to become an adrenaline sports destination of choice.

Mr Starkie joined famous faces in shouting about the area's natural beauty. He said: "We have amazingly picturesque beaches, endless walking opportunities, sporting activities, iconic views, lakes, and attractive towns and villages. I would encourage anyone looking for peace and beauty to come and enjoy Copeland – the warmest of welcomes is waiting for them.