An award-winning journalist has joined the ranks of a PR and media consultancy.

Caroline Barber, who was last year named O2 North West Print Journalist of the Year, has been recruited by south Cumbria-based 32West, which was founded six months ago.

Company director James Higgins said: "When the business was launched just six months ago, I never expected we would reach the point where we needed to recruit staff so quickly.

"But such has been the success of the venture, we now need to grow to ensure we continue to deliver for our clients.”

Caroline has spent nearly 20 years in journalism having previously worked on a range of news titles in the Midlands and across Cumbria, most recently in an investigations role for regional dailies The Mail and News & Star.

She said: “It’s a privilege to be joining 32West and to have the opportunity to use my skills to help some of Cumbria’s most respected and innovative businesses.

“The team behind 32West are ambitious and dedicated to achieving on behalf of their clients, and I’m looking forward to contributing to their continued success in the future."

Frank Stretton, 32West co-owner and director, added: “Caroline is a journalist of the highest calibre and I look forward to working with her."