A KESWICK businesswoman is attempting to raise funds to help convert the building she rents into a community hub.

Chinty Turnbull owns Chinty’s Café on St John’s Street. She is worried that local people are being priced out of buying property in the town as houses are being sold as holiday homes.

Chinty said: “We only started our business a month before lockdown and then we were forced to close. This meant that we had to think on our feet, so we started producing vegetable boxes and groceries around Keswick.

"What we began to see was a lot of for sale signs going up at different houses and houses selling very quickly.

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“We reopened and all was fine, we had a lot of residents of the town visit us and it was nice to build that relationship with the community during a busy summer.

“Around 10 days ago we found out that our building is going on the market. We assumed that this wouldn’t affect us as we have a lease, but I spoke to some of the people who live in the flats and they felt quite worried that they will probably be sold and turned into holiday lets.

When asked how the public have reacted to her plans, Chinty answered: “It’s been really nice. I’ve had people who don’t have money who are pledging and telling me what they can give me.

News and Star: HISTORIC: Chinty's is located in the town's St John's StreetHISTORIC: Chinty's is located in the town's St John's Street

“So far, we have received £65,000 which I know is a lot off the target, but I’d like to get as much people involved as possible.

"We have seen similar campaigns happening in towns all over the country. We’re seeing towns and hamlets disappearing and being bought for financial gain.

“We’ve got a Premier Inn in Keswick which I find is enough for holiday accommodation. We need to hang on to what we’ve got. The building has been there a long time and I think we’ve got to try our best to save it.”

Chinty is looking to raise £800,000 to buy the building. She is planning on setting up an online raffle for members of the public to purchase tickets to a Liverpool v Manchester City fixture next season to help raise funds for the Buy Back Keswick, Brick By Brick campaign.

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