Booths Keswick

Booths is reopening its Keswick branch on 21 March, 15 weeks after the Cumbrian floods forced it to shut.

The rebuilt and fitted-out premises have been upgraded to be more resilient in the event of future flooding.

Keswick was the worst affected of the Booths’ stores after Storm Desmond hit the North West in early December, with others in Kirkby Lonsdale and Torrisholme reopening a few days after the initial flood waters.

Keswick will now reopen in two phases following extensive repairs to the building and replacement of shop fittings, including refrigeration units and counters.

Booths said the first phase on 21 March will be in time for the start of the Easter holidays and the all-important tourist season in the Lake District.

The second phase covering the fresh counters, hot food counter and the café will follow on 14 April with a day of celebrations, including food and drink tastings, for the community and the store’s staff.

Graham Booth, property director at Booths, said: “We are thrilled to welcome customers back to Booths Keswick. 

“The extent of the damage caused by the floods meant that we had to rebuild the store from the bottom up; everything is new from the fridges to the floors.

“We’ve taken the opportunity to upgrade the store both in terms of future flood resilience and invested in the latest green technology.”

Booth said much of the credit for the massive undertaking went to the staff and estate teams who had worked “round the clock” to get the shop ready to reopen in time for the Easter holidays.

“We know how important it is to have a community asset like Booths available over Easter, and the reopening is a cause for celebration.”

While the store was boarded up, the company opened a small pop-up shop in front of the premises with 600 essential lines two weeks later, and laid on free shuttle buses to other stores in nearby towns.

Booths said the bus service would continue until 9 April and the pop-up until 21 March.

On 14 April, the retailer will hold a ‘Best of Booths’ celebration, inviting some of its Cumbrian suppliers - including Brysons of Keswick, Appleby Creamery, Hawkshead Brewery and Claire’s Handmade Preserves - to the store for tastings followed by a community reception in the café in the evening for locals and staff members to attend.