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Tourism trade improves since A591 reopening

Tourism businesses along one of the Lake District's main roads say trade has improved significantly since it re-opened just over a week ago.

The A591 closed due to damage caused by December's floods. A stretch of the road between Keswick and Grasmere collapsed during Storm Desmond.

Katie Hunter reports from a classic car event held to celebrate its re-opening.

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'Phenomenal difference' for businesses as A591 opens

Heaton Cooper Studio Credit: Heaton Cooper Studio

The re-opening of a flood-damaged Lake District road has made a "phenomenal difference" to businesses, local communities have told ITV Border.

Becky Heaton Cooper, who runs the Heaton Cooper Studio and art gallery in Grasmere, says her business was hit hard by the five month closure of the A591.

But she says the re-opening of the road has given her business an immediate boost.

There has been a phenomenal difference. It's like someone has turned a light back on.

– Becky Heaton Cooper

Tourism businesses host A591 reopening celebrations

The A591 re-opened on May 11th Credit: ITV News Border

Tourism businesses are hosting a series of celebrations today to mark the official reopening of the A591.

The road between Keswick and Grasmere collapsed due to flooding during Storm Desmond in December. It reopened last week and businesses are now keen to promote the area.

Celebrations include a vintage car display and a children's poetry reading.

"The closure of the A591 following Storm Desmond had a terrible impact on local residents and local businesses, but the good news is that the road is now fixed.

"This event is about sending the message loud and clear that Cumbria is back 'open for business'.

"I'd like to thank all those who have helped to organise this event, as well as those who have contributed funding, in particular South Lakeland District Council."

– Tim Farron MP, South Lakes, Lib Dem

Lorry driver training business hopes to fill skill shortage

A business employing fifty people has been set up near Carlisle, to train lorry drivers.

The company is supported by major local employers and is looking to fill a major skills shortage in the haulage industry.

We've had an ageing profile and people not replacing that because of various factors. Now there are real opportunities for young people. Employers are crying out for new people who are well trained, eager to get on and eager to progress in this industry."

– Tony Higgins, System People
Credit: ITV Border
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