Cumbria firms are 'export champions'

Pirelli factory in Carlisle
Image caption The Pirelli factory in Carlisle employs about 850 people

Five Cumbria firms have been hailed as "export champions" by the government.

The businesses are "beacons" for other companies hoping to sell more products overseas, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) said.

Tata Steel in Workington, Hidef Aerial Surveying in Cleator Moor, Pirelli in Carlisle, Playdale Playgrounds in Haverthwaite and Wax Lyrical in Lindal-in-Furness were all praised.

UKTI regional director Clive Drinkwater said the firms could "inspire" others.

Mr Drinkwater is meeting staff at the companies on Monday.

'Benefit others'

It is hoped the firms can pass on their experience and expertise to other businesses to boost the economy.

Mr Drinkwater said: "Our inaugural export champions are all businesses who will inspire and motivate those new to international trade, both by promoting the benefits of export via their own successes and by sharing their knowledge and experience for the benefit of other firms in the North West."

Wax Lyrical, which makes luxury scented candle ranges, makes more than 15 million products every year in its Lake District factory and sells 45% of its stock overseas.

Sales director Richard Wood said the company hoped to expand its international business even further.

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