Two Cumbrian businesses have come together in a bid to offer more choice to the consumer.

Carlisle's More Handles and Maryport's Chimney Sheep have formed an alliance to sell the west Cumbrian firm's products across the UK.

This will Chimney Sheep's goods promoted through More Handles' market-leading website.

More Handles is a hardware retailer with two stores in the county. One of these is in the Kingstown Industrial Estate, Carlisle, while the other is in Kendal's Westmorland Business Park.

It is the UK's largest online supplier of door hardware and is this year celebrating 10 years in business.

Chimney Sheep was set up in 2012 by entrepreneur Sally Phillips. It is a draught excluder manufacturer based in

the Solway Industrial Estate,


The firm's products are designed to prevent heat loss from open fireplaces using felted Lakeland wool from Herdwick sheep. Ms Phillips has sold over 40,000 draught excluders since launching the business four years ago.

To date, the sales equate to about 10,000 Herdwick sheep fleeces. The company orders 1km (0.6 miles) of Herdwick felt at a time, which is one tonne of wool. The company also has a distributor covering the USA with sales averaging 2,000 products per year.

More Handles managing director Paul Rheinbach was pleased with the tie-up.

He said: “I am extremely proud of how More Handles as a local Cumbrian business can lead the way in our industry with our website business and it is good to see another Cumbrian business like Chimney Sheep creating an industry leading product direct from our County.

"We are very pleased to be working together and bringing the benefits of Chimney Sheep to a much wider audience”.

Mr Rheinbach added that both Chimney Sheep and More Handles have both won awards for their work and have had investment from European Funds. He also said he wanted the UK to recognise that Cumbrian businesses have a lot to offer in terms of growth and sustainability in business.