A local laundry firm that works across west Cumbria and Dumfries has been praised for its vital role in helping the region respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shortridge Ltd, founded in Dumfries in 1845, operates from a large building on Lochside industrial estate.

The firm, which also has a base in west Cumbria, was recently visited by Scottish secretary and MP for Dumfries and Galloway Alister Jack, and Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson.

They met with Shortridge Ltd's managing director Peter Semple and general manager Susan Peat to discuss how the business had responded to the coronavirus outbreak.

Both politicians praised the company's contribution to the local Covid-19 response, including providing additional support to NHS hospitals during periods of high demand and providing laundry services to public and private sector organisations.

Shortridge assisted many in the hospitality industry to get up and running again after lockdown through their laundering and linen hire service to hotels, B&Bs and self-catering properties.

After touring the site, Mr Jack said: "The company has come a long way since its early days in Dumfries and they operate over a large part of Scotland and the north of England.

"They are an important local employer and carry out a vital task which I'm sure many take for granted.

"There has been substantial investment in technology and, importantly with the wide range of work they do, systems are in place to ensure laundering is carried out to the highest standards."

Mr Carson added: “As local MSP, I recognise that tourism is an important and expanding industry across the constituency and professional laundry services play a key support role in the sector.

"Small and medium sized businesses have faced unknown challenges as a consequence of COVID-19; through the intervention of my office, I was able to assist Shortridge in receiving a vital grant from South of Scotland Enterprise as well as contracts from NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

"In a rural economic context, the importance of retaining a skilled workforce is vital to support communities – so I am only too glad that an outcome has been reached which works for all."