Cockermouth pubs reeling from floods

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Flood, Cockermouth

Floods: pubs have been hit hard
Floods: pubs have been hit hard
Only five pubs out of 14 remain fully-functional following the weekend floods in Cockermouth, Cumbria. But many of those that escaped flood damage...

Only five pubs out of 14 remain fully-functional following the weekend floods in Cockermouth, Cumbria.

But many of those that escaped flood damage have been affected by poor access to the area and the ongoing recovery programme.

The Bitter End's pub manager Michael Dunn estimated that 98% of the town centre has been badly damaged by floods. However, his pub is located on higher ground and sustained only minimal water damage to the attached micro-brewery.

He said: "We've been working flat out just to keep the pub going."

The Black Bull pub is understood to be the hardest-hit of Cockermouth's hospitality trade, with suspected structural damage.

Also badly damaged are two Jennings pubs — the Bush Inn and Hunters. A fellow licensee, Helen Buckingham of the Cock and Bull said eight feet of water spilled over the bars "halfway up to the optics". A recovery team were able to access the properties this morning to assess the damage.

Buckingham's pub avoided any damage, but was forced to close on Saturday due to a power cut at 4pm. Power was restored early on Sunday evening.

Junipers restaurant and cafe bar has also suffered from the loss of electricity. All the fresh produce has been ruined as the refrigerators ceased to function.

Owner Debbie Deakins expected the restaurant to be up and running again by Wednesday, thanks to the "tremendous help" the area has received.

Pubs in nearby flood-hit Keswick escaped damage as the water stopped before reaching the town centre. However, some pubs have been forced to close due to severely reduced access to the area as two bridges are cordoned off.

News manager at Cumbria County Council Gareth Cosslett expects the cost of damage to run into millions.

"We don't want businesses going under but we have to concentrate on the infrastructure," he said. "This only happened three days ago so the recovery efforts are focused on getting back on our feet."

Cosslett expressed faith in the county's ability to make a full recovery. "Cumbria has been knocked down in the past," he explained, referring to past floods and the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 that devasted the hospitality trade at the time. "We're fairly resilient at rolling our sleeves up and getting on with the job at hand."

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