A chartered surveyors is celebrating opening Cumbria’s newest office block, which it hopes will become a hub for the county’s businesses.

Solomons Europe unveiled the Papcastle Hub, on Papcastle Lane, Great Broughton, on Wednesday - inviting local businesses to tour its airy, modern decor.

Formerly a derelict warehouse, the 4,000 square foot building has been converted into five separate office spaces with a communal meeting room and kitchen.

Solomons Europe will take two of the offices and rent the other two out, while it plans to make a third available for free for a selected local start up.

Work has been under way on the project since August, reusing shipping containers to create some of the offices.

As well as the new site, Solomons also has an office at the Moss End Business Village, just off junction 36 of the M6 near Kendal, as well as in Hartlepool and Merseyside.

Dominic Doig, managing director, said in time it would begin inviting local companies to pitch to occupy the third office for no charge.

He said this would be part of the Solomons' Pay it Forward programme, which it has been running in various forms to help other local businesses and the community.

One of the offices is already occupied by social enterprise recruitment company All Together Cumbria, staffed by Sarah MacGregor and Tracy Todd.

The new office space would help Solomons grow in Cumbria, Dominic said.

“We’ve got 10 staff in Cumbria at the moment and hopefully this facility will give us the ability to go from 10 to 20,” he said.

Kerry Doig, strategic director for Solomons, said: "It's done and it's looking smashing, people have come in with loads of energy today and they think it's a nice space to be.

"Hopefully we can get a hub of different type of businesses in and it can bring a nice energy to it.

"This will complement the Junction 36 office, but really it's to capture this A66 route which connects us to our Hartlepool office as well."

Tracy Todd, who is the recruitment desk manager for All Together Cumbria, said: "We're absolutely delighted, it's a phenomenal opportunity for us and it's going to be great."