Law centre scoops share of Lottery

The National Lottery fund has handed out £300,000 to a Cumbrian law centre, enabling it to set up a mobile advice service.

The successful application from Carlisle Community Law Centre, Cumbria's only law centre, will provide £300,000 to be spread over three years. The money will be used to purchase a vehicle, appoint new staff and relocate to larger premises.

Development worker Tony Brown said: “The geographical nature of our area and poor public transport makes it difficult for clients to get to advice sessions. It was essential for us to have our own transport in order to carry out our work.”

The centre covers the old county of Cumberland from Millom in the south to the Scottish borders. It gives free advice on housing, employment and welfare matters to a population whose wages are 8 per cent below the national average.

Law centre chair Chris Southwood said: “There's been a great deal of criticism over the allocation of lottery money but they should be praised for this decision. This project breaks new ground in the provision of rural legal services and if successful could become the blueprint for legal service provision.”