Yesterday’s Spring Budget announcement was one of the most significant in a number of years, as businesses and individuals who have been dealt a heavy blow by Covid anxiously awaited what the Government would have to say.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Government have had to confront one of the toughest financial challenges faced by the country since the Second World War.

Here is how the announcement has been viewed in a Cumbrian context.

The Chief Financial Officer for Cumberland Building Society, Richard Ellison, said: "The single most important thing is that the furlough scheme is now going to run substantially past the point at which we would expect all of the economy to have reopened.

"So this is a helpful budget for the businesses and communities of Cumbria and the North."

The Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme would continue in its current form until the end of September.

Corporation tax will increase to 25% from 2023 but income tax thresholds will freeze.

Managing Director of the Entrepreneurs Group Ltd, Keith McMean, said that he thought on the whole, the budget was one to "celebrate".

He added: "I know investment in businesses, large and small will be unprecedented.

"Only businesses with profits of 250k and above will pay the full 25% rate. This will give all business a fair crack at getting back on track.

"My biggest concern for businesses in Cumbria is the amount of loans they will accrue and how many will be able to make the repayments once they start."

Cumbria Tourism, along with many local businesses, had been lobbying for an extension to business rates relief and furlough scheme. 

The Government announced yesterday that they would be extending the 100 percent business rates relief, but between April and June. 

Cumbria Tourism Managing Director, Gill Haigh, said: "We are pleased it recognises the implications of the phased way in which businesses will reopen in the coming months, with extra reopening costs, ongoing financial pressures and restrictions likely to remain in place.

"This will clearly impact on their ability to operate at pre-Covid levels for some time, so today’s news will be a big relief not only for hundreds of businesses, but also thousands of employees across our county."