Whitehaven's independent wine merchant has been highly commended in a national competition.

Richardson's of Whitehaven was in the running to be named Britain's Best Small Shop 2019 and was among 25 finalists to be invited to the Houses of Parliament this week to find out who had won.

The shop, which has been a part of the town since 1995, is owned by Gerard Richardson MBE.

The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation to celebrate the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s high streets and the central role they play in their local communities.

Mark Walmsley, chairman of the Independent Retailers Confederation, said: “Independent retailers are the lifeblood of UK high streets.

"They offer tradition, choice and innovation through the diversity of niche products and services. Independent retailers are an integral part of local communities all around the UK."

Copeland Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Trudy Harrison attended the event.

She said: “Richardson’s is a credit to Whitehaven and to Copeland and this is a great achievement."

Gerard said: “To be recognised as one of the best in the country as we approach our 25th business anniversary is really wonderful."

Arragon’s Cycle Centre in Penrith was also among the 25 businesses shortlisted for the honour.

It is a family-run business, established for over 40 years but now with a new shop – one of the North’s largest.