A business owner has spoken of his frustration that Edinburgh Woollen Mill has been granted business rate relief while others struggle to survive.

Carlisle City Council approved a two-year exemption - of £250,000 - for the firm owned by billionaire businessman Philip Day this week.

Matt Rayson, of the Old Bank City Pub and Chophouse, feels it is unfair.

While he is keen to see more people brought to the city, he said: "I think it is not a great idea by the council.

"There is not just Edinburgh Woollen Mill in that area. There are businesses which are struggling which would benefit from the rate relief themselves.

"The man is the richest man in Cumbria. I don't know what makes them grant it on top of free car parking."

Mr Rayson has been based in Fisher Street for three years and has paid between £1,000 and £1,500 in rates but says he doesn't actually see what this goes towards as there is very little road cleaning and no street lighting.

He added that a lot of businesses also feel proposed changes to on-street parking in the historic quarter would "affect business quite significantly."

He continued: "There is no scope for anybody to start their own business. There are being punished with such high business rates. How are they going to survive?"

Addressing the concerns, Labour councillor Les Tickner, who is responsible for finance, governance and resources, said there are discount schemes for all sizes of businesses to occupy hard to let buildings and the council will systematically consider each application.

"It doesn't just apply to big buildings," he said. "We will do whatever we can to retain existing businesses and attract new businesses."