In the face of a second lockdown, one high street trader has shared a desperate appeal to keep them in business.

The team at Whitehaven’s M&Co, based on King Street, are fighting to keep the store open, and the announcement that non-essential businesses will once again have to shut their doors could not have come at a worse time.

As the Christmas shopping period is one of the busiest times of the year for many shops, M&Co manager, Pat Dickinson, is worried the loss of trade will have devastating effects on the store.

“We’re obviously not happy about the lockdown,” she said.

“We’ve been really busy this week because everyone’s gone into panic mode with their Christmas shopping, but we don’t even have all our Christmas stock in at the moment.

“It’s definitely a worry about what’s going to happen in the future, so that’s why we want everyone to shop with us while they can – and come back after lockdown!”

She added: “I think everybody is quite concerned at the moment, but hopefully after lockdown everyone comes back and keeps us and rest of the high street going.”

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, and proud supporter of the borough council's Shop Local campaign, said: “We are running our campaign to actively encourage our residents to support their local high street at this time.

“It is vital that we continue to support all our local businesses, both those who can continue to be trade during the upcoming lockdown and who are adapting to deliveries or online services, and those who will reopen in December after this period of closure."

He continued: "We are doing all we can to support local businesses during this incredibly difficult time.

"We will soon be in a position to announce how they can access the latest support grants, and we are offering free parking in all Copeland Council-owned car parks through December to encourage shoppers to use our town centres during the festive period; and we have a dedicated Shop Local Co-ordinator in place to support business owners and managers.”

On its final day of trading before lockdown, M&Co will be open until 9pm – and can’t wait to reopen in four weeks’ time.