A Cumbrian startup is offering to help owners of construction equipment make money - even when they are not doing any work.

Shareplant has launched with the aim of allowing equipment owners to earn extra money and offset running costs during downtime and gaps between jobs.

It allows owners to list items for hire for free in a database which renters can search either on its website or via an app.

Shareplant already hosts hundreds of pieces of equipment for hire, covering locations including Birmingham, London, Newcastle, Manchester and Cumbria.

They include everything from road sweepers to forklifts and cement mixers to power tools.

At the same time Shareplant has launched Shareplant Toolbox, a range of software tools to help construction companies manage multiple aspects of their construction business via their computer, tablet and smartphone.

It includes tools to help manage time booking, site safety, equipment inspections, maintenance and defects and workforce training and administration.

Mark Watters, founder of Shareplant which is based in Cockermouth, said: “There are incredible gains to be made in bringing innovation and the sharing economy to the construction and plant hire industry.

"We’re proud to be launching an easy-to-use service allowing our users to make productive and profitable use of equipment that would otherwise be sitting idle while losing value through depreciation - and providing a single, easy to use place for everything users need when hiring equipment.

"Between our rental marketplace and our Shareplant Toolbox, users will find renting out, hiring in and maintaining construction equipment and general construction administration a much easier experience.”