One of Cockermouth's oldest businesses is looking into expansion options.

Mitchells Auction Company was established in 1873, serving the needs of the local community as auctioneers of both livestock and furniture.

In 2002, it relocated its Livestock and Land Agency Divisions to what is now known as The Lakeland Livestock Centre on the outskirts of Cockermouth to enable the firm to expand.

This made way for Sainsbury’s supermarket to be built in the town centre on the site of the original livestock auction mart.

Last year Mitchells opened 12 business units on The Lakeland Livestock Centre site. They are all fully occupied and leased to a range of businesses.

This week the company submitted to Cumberland Council planners an "outline application for a new building to house Mitchells Antiques & Fine Art Auction business" on land at Lakeland Livestock Centre.

Director and auctioneer Mark Wise said the success of their 12 business units had prompted the company to explore possibilities for future expansion.

"We are looking into all possibilities for the future and expanding all or any businesses," he said.

"The business units are all occupied and have been very well received.

"That has driven us to consider what else is possible."

Plans for the site were "not imminent", he said. Moving the antique and fine art auction out of town "would be a major undertaking".

The proposed site is a vacant hard standing area to the side of the Livestock Centre.

"It is currently a barren hardcore/broken tarmac surfaced area with a generally untidy and unkept appearance," states the application.

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