1. ITV Report

Paper beats rock - Art distracts residents from road works.

Old photos of Cockermouth have been mounted down the high street Photo: ITV Border

Traders in Cockermouth are tapping into their creative side to boost business during major roadworks in the town centre.

Some firms have reported a drop in trade but they hope this latest idea will bring people back.

Businesses owners in Cockermouth have put a series of black and white photos around the town's road works in hope that it will entice more people into the centre. About 30 images from the Cockermouth Museum Group have been put up to create an outdoor exhibition. The exhibition tells the story of Cockermouth's past whilst the noise surrounding it tells the story of Cockermouth's present.

Roadworks began in February in Cockermouth Credit: ITV Border

But isn't the first time people here have turned to art in testing times. The idea came about at the time of the floods and the same pictures were displayed in shops on the main street, which attracted a lot of interest.

It's because of the 2009 floods that make the roadworks necessary. As well as repairing some of the damage they'll also make the town more resilient to extreme weather.

The roadworks started in February and they'll probably go on until September time and although it is quite noisy, traders here are determined to turn it into something positive.

"There's very much a feeling in the town that there's no point being gloomy about this - these roadworks are going to benefit us, once it's all done its going to be super so we're being very positive about it so this experience becomes a part of the town's history, it's just another bit of the story of Cockermouth really."

– Alex Morgan, Wordsworth House and Garden
30 images are placed around the main street to attract tourists Credit: ITV Border

As well as funding the photos, the local council's also scrapped some parking charges to help the residents and shop owners whilst the road works occupy their town.

The roadworks take up a sizeable chunk of the town's Main Street so there's plenty of space to hang up the photos. They've only appeared in the last three but are attracting plenty of interest from locals and tourists, with locals saying it's a good idea for the town.

Though as much as people here welcome the creativity behind this latest project, they're also looking forward to the day these roadworks are part of the town's history, rather than its present.