A NEW walking app inspired by the work of a Millom poet could bring culture-hungry visitors to the 'hidden gem' of a town.
The Norman Nicholson digital trail will take in routes that the poet himself would regularly walk.
The trails - there are currently two, with three more in the pipeline - are not just about Nicholson, and can be enjoyed by general visitors of all ages. It is hoped that people will enjoy the app in line with any current Covid-related restrictions.
The project has been made possible with £20,000 of 'accelerated' funding from the Towns Fund, and brings to life places loved by the acclaimed 20th century writer, who lived in Millom. The app has an introduction from Melvyn Bragg, Cumbrian broadcaster and President of the Norman Nicholson Society.
As well as providing routes, the app has images, text and audio telling visitors about the area, its history and points of interest. It also links to other local attractions. You can find out more about the app here.
The Norman Nicholson House Community Interest Company has led the project, and funding will allow the app to be operated for at least five years.
Charlie Lambert, Chair of the Norman Nicholson House CIC, said: "Getting all the content for the app together in a relatively short time has been a brilliant achievement. My thanks go to everyone involved and of course to Copeland Borough Council for coming up with the funding to make this happen.
"The trails not only guide people along attractive routes, they provide a host of fascinating facts, historic photos, and specially-recorded audio memories which really bring the heritage of Millom and surrounding area to life."
Copeland Council Chief Executive, Pat Graham, said: "It's fantastic to see this important project come together after great efforts by so many partners. Culture and tourism are key building blocks in any regeneration, and this bodes well for the future of Millom.
"It was an excellent and innovative use of the accelerated funding and I hope that, as soon as restrictions allow, this unique offering helps bring visitors to our beautiful lake district coast. In Cumbria's Year of the Coast it is a perfect way to help people discover the hidden gem that is Millom.
"As our tourism sector recovers, more people than ever will be holidaying in the UK, looking for somewhere new to visit. They will be looking at digital resources like this to help them plan, and will appreciate a carefully thought out activity as part of their itinerary."
Copeland Council successfully bid for £500,000 of immediate funding for Millom, while the outcome of the main funding bid of up to £25m should be revealed later this month.
The initial accelerated funding is also being used for a new children's play area at St George's Road Park, and an accessible running/cycling track. The play park is currently under construction and should be open for the start of the summer.