Wigton’s Co-op has had a busy two weeks, first reopening after a £1.2m renovation and then donating thousands of pounds to local charities.

The refurbishment was completed on November 22, and saw new widened aisles, self-service tills and fridge and freezer units with doors - something team leader Blane Searby explains means the shop is no longer cold.

“We’ve got a new Costa coffee machine as well,” added Blane, 32, who lives in Carlisle.

“We stayed open throughout the two months. The first month was particularly difficult.

“It was difficult for customers and for staff. Now we’re starting afresh, and hoping to push forward.”

Two days after the completion of the revamp, Wigton Co-op had its payout day for the three local charities it had been collecting for in the past six months.

Part of the Co-op Local Community Fund initiative, Wigton Co-op had been collecting for Wigton Youth Station, Wigton and District Community Transport, and St Cuthbert’s School play area.

“They each received between £4,500 and £5,000,” said Blane.

“We’ve done really well this time. It’s fantastic, everyone feels fantastic about it.

“One of our staff, Janet Blacklock, her father set the community transport up years ago, so he came along.”

Blane, who has been at Wigton’s Co-op since it first opened, added that the next three charities the store will be supporting are Watchtree Nature Reserve, Chrysalis, and the 1st Wigton Baden-Powell Scouts.