Lord Inglewood was among 11 Northern leaders and business chiefs who met with Government ministers to talk about the impact of Covid-19 on the county’s economy.

The Cumbrian peer, who is chair of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, took part in a online round table discussion with chairs of 10 other LEPs, the Minister for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi, and the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke.

Several Cumbrian businesses also attended the event, which was the first in a series.

They included SMEs from a range of sectors including those facing some of the biggest challenges in tourism, leisure, hospitality, education and health.

Among those attending were Barry Leahey, of Playdale Playgrounds in South Cumbria and Nigel Wilkinson, of Windermere Lake Cruises and chair of Cumbria LEP’s visitor economy sector panel.

Further regional business round tables are scheduled for the coming weeks.

Lord Inglewood said: “This was the first round table talking directly to our businesses here in Cumbria about the type and scale of the impacts that they are experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It provided an important opportunity to listen to the concerns of local businesses about Covid-19 support, and how they can help implement the phases of economic recovery in a safe manner across the county.

“It saw businesses feed back valuable information and insight that is helping Government target ongoing support, particularly around the essential need for cash-flow and tailored business support going forward.

“The recovery strategy published by the Prime Minister is a framework to help get the UK back to work in a way that is safe for everyone, and it’s vitally important that business is at the heart of that plan as we reopen sectors of the economy.”

Mr Zahawi added: “These round tables with local enterprise partnerships provide a vital opportunity to safeguard regional growth, listen to the concerns of local businesses, and discuss how we can implement the phases of the recovery.”

Mr Clarke said: “It is fundamental that we understand local concerns so that we can help our regions expedite the restart of their economies.”