More than 140 exhibitors have signed up for the 44th Lakes Hospitality Trade Show next month.

For the second year running, the Lakes Hospitality Trade Association has teamed up with Cumbria Tourism to stage the event, which this year coincides with the final countdown to the Brexit deadline.

Held just two weeks before the planned departure of the UK from the European Union, the two-day event will feature a series of free workshops and seminars with a Brexit theme.

Momentum is building for Cumbria’s longest-running trade show, which will bring together a diverse range of hospitality businesses from across Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire at the Junction 36 Rural Auction Centre on Wednesday March 13 and Thursday March 14.

The show’s exhibition marquee has been doubled in size to accommodate exhibitors.

Cumbrian hotelier and director of the Lakes Hospitality Trade Association, James Tasker, said: “Businesses are telling us that Brexit is the hot topic they cannot ignore, so we’ve decided to stage a special panel debate as part of the show where businesses can explore how Brexit might impact them.

“That includes the steps they can take to maximise the positives and minimise the negatives.

“It’s just one of a series of workshops and seminars being held across the two days looking at industry news and trends, from tackling chef shortages and diversifying your business to creating a digital marketing plan and working with social media influencers.

“With more than 1,200 people attending last year’s show, the event is an annual focal point for the region’s hospitality industry and it is a real opportunity to build relationships, showcase new developments and prepare for the year to come.”

Attendance for this year’s Lakes Hospitality Trade Show is free and delegates can book ahead for the workshop sessions, including a place in the audience for the Brexit panel debate at 10.30am on Wednesday March 13.

The tourism industry is worth £2.9 billion in Cumbria and supports almost 65,000 jobs in the county.

The show’s headline sponsor is creative agency Hotfoot Design.