Cumbrian hotel's £350,000 fightback against the floods
A west Cumbrian hotel has vowed never to let floods ruin it again - after getting permission to install defences worth up to £350,000.
The way has been cleared for vital flood defence works to begin at the popular Trout Hotel, which has been swamped by water numerous times.
Bosses at the Cockermouth venue have revealed the works are due to begin in January, albeit with a hefty price tag.
It follows Allerdale Council's decision to approve the scheme which will see the defences installed throughout the Crown Street building.
Sue Eccles, of the Trout, is meeting with the flood defence company next week to finalise the details of the installation, and is hopeful they will be in place as early as the end of the month.
The hotel was forced to close for eight months following the devastating floods of December 2015, with extensive repairs needed to bring it back to a liveable condition.
It was the second time in six years the hotel was left in ruins by flood waters.
Now those at the hotel's helm are hoping the outlay on flood defences will protect the building as best it can should disaster ever strike again.
When the hotel flooded a year ago, when Storm Desmond battered the county, Mrs Eccles admitted she could not believe what was happening.
“It was like history repeating itself," she recalled. "When I stood in the lounge in my wellies on the Saturday evening it was like deja vu.
“It was a little bit easier this time, due to the fact I had every file and order we had put in back in 2009.”
In fact, Mrs Eccles simply submitted an exact copy of the 2009 order for items such as the bedroom furniture and the crocker, as the loss and damage of 2015 was almost identical to that of previous floods.
The flood defence plan will provide temporary protection to existing door and window openings. These would be clipped into a permanent frame when the building is at risk.
Flood-proof windows would be installed in the bedrooms closest to the river, while larger openings would be protected by slot-in flood barriers.
There would also be one-way drain valves installed, underfloor vents fitted and a sump pump to remove water.
Most of the flood protection measures have had to be specially manufactured and ordered in. They will be kept in a new store in the hotel's courtyard, so they are close at hand should they ever be needed.