Who we are and what we do

Last Updated: 16 August 2021

South Lakeland is situated in the south of Cumbria and encompasses a vast section of the beautiful southern Lake District. It is one of Britain’s most spectacular and most visited tourism destinations.

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) was formed after local government reorganisation in 1974. Our vision is to make the district the best place to live, work and visit.

Our headquarters are situated in the attractive market town of Kendal on the banks of the River Kent. We are on the doorstep of two glorious national parks, the Lake District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales. We also have offices in the bustling market town of Ulverston, which is on the fringe of the scenic Cumbrian coastline, and the vast Morecambe Bay.

South Lakeland covers an area of 600 square miles. It includes pretty villages, lakes, rivers, mountains, and some of Cumbria’s most attractive towns like Arnside, Bowness-on-Windermere, Broughton-in-Furness, Windermere, Coniston, Ambleside, Grange-over-Sands, Kirkby Lonsdale and Sedbergh.

As a popular tourism area it attracts around eight million visitors a year. Visitors enjoy the Lake District for outdoor pursuits like walking, cycling, climbing, sailing and canoeing. It is home to many well established restaurants, shops, country pubs, cinemas. Some of England’s leading tourist attractions, hotels, B&Bs and self catering cottages are here.

We employ around 420 people and the district itself has a population of 103,700, which is boosted during the tourism season by domestic and international visitors. We set an annual budget of around £13 million every year.

Our vision is: “By involving people and creating opportunities we will make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and visit,”

Our three key values are:

  • valuing people
  • excellence
  • openness

The council’s priorities are:

  • housing
  • economy
  • culture and wellbeing
  • environment

The district has a total of 18 wards and 51 Councillors.