A donation of nearly £70,000 , plans for a new building and a new launcher will turn a lifeboat station into accommodation finally fit for purpose.

Maryport Inshore Rescue has received £66,890 from the Grand lodge of Mark Master Masons fund of Benevolence.

The grant will allow the sea and flood rescue group to instal the mezzanine floor that will finally give members enough room for meetings, training sessions and extra storage.

Work was to have been started on the mezzanine floor in 2013 but when the need to stabilise the foundations of the headquarters on the Maryport docks, the money was diverted.

Station manager Mike Messenger said this is an exiting time for the rescue service.

We are absolutely delighted and extremely grateful to the Masons for this grant.

"With team numbers at 26 and three new recruits due next week we just don't have the facility to accommodate all of us - and the pandemic and need for social distancing has just aggravated the problem."

But the mezzanine floor is not the only addition being planned.

"We have plans lodged with Allerdale to extend our building out to the side,At the moment we have three boats and there is nowhere to store our vehicles. This would give us the room we desperately need."

"We also have grant applications out for a new launch vehicle.

"We have the large one for our large boat but we also now have a D class boat which needs a smaller launch vehicle to launch it and to bring it back to land."

He said he was hopeful that the grant would be given and that would set the station up for the future.

Maryport Inshore Rescue is a charity run by volunteers. All its funding is from grants and donations.

It is also part of the lottery scheme, Lifeboat Lotto, which gives it a steady income.The lottery has a roll over jackpot which has to be won when it reaches £5,000.

Mr Messenger said it is vital to the running of the rescue service.

This week's lotto numbers were: 08, 13, 18 and 27.The jackpot was not won so rolls over to £1,100.

To join the Lifeboat Lotto call our r 0800 009 4357 or e mail info@lifeboatlotto.co.uk.