South Craven MP Julian Smith has welcomed news that government support of mountain rescue teams will continue.

He and Commons colleagues had lobbied for the continuation of grant aid that covers the VAT on mountain rescue equipment and training for volunteers.

The government has confirmed it will provide £250,000 in 2015-16, in addition to the £600,000 already given to the voluntary mountain rescue organisations.

Mr Smith said: “This is excellent news that will be of great help to the Cave Rescue Organisation and Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association in my constituency, which provide invaluable support for both residents and visitors.

“The government appreciates the work that these groups do and the time and effort they give to supporting rural communities, and I will continue to do whatever I can to support the organisations in the future.”

In January, Mr Smith took part in a training exercise with the Cave Rescue Organisation at White Scar Cave in the Yorkshire Dales.