The owner of a fishing tackle and gun shop in Whitehaven is celebrating five years in business.

Paul Armstrong, of Bransty, who runs Cumbria Tackle and Guns on George Street, says his ethos is to ensure that customers leave with the product they want every time.

Whitehaven has had a tackle shop in this location for more than 20 years and Paul took over the business in 2018, following the retirement of the previous owner.

He said: “I’m not claiming being in business is easy, far from it. It’s been difficult and exciting in equal measure. Who could have planned for Covid?

“One of the most challenging things I am finding, is shifting the public’s mindset that online is cheaper, sometimes perhaps, but not always. All you have to do is ask.

“In recent years Cumbria Tackle followed through on my original plan to expand its range of product and services and become Cumbria Tackle and Guns, and now has customers from far and wide visiting our quiet little corner of Cumbria.”

Mr Armstrong said helping new anglers who come into the store for the first time is his favourite part of the job.

“As the weather improves, it’s the logical time for new upcoming anglers to take the plunge and buy their first rod and reel and like the first day at school, the parents walk into this strange new place with a shy child.

“That’s the future stood right in front of you that needs nurtured and guided and that I think is probably the best part of the job.

“There comes a point when that person walks back in not always to buy, sometimes just for a chat and that’s absolutely fine by me. It’s all part of building that relationship that you don’t get from big businesses.”

Mr Armstrong is also urging people to shop local.

He added: “There has never been a time in history that people and businesses have been so accessible. I’m sure all local businesses would appreciate a quick message, call or email to check a price or availability of a product before looking further afield.

“’Buy local or bye local’ is something I heard a few years ago and I can’t think of a more fitting message.”

READ MORE: Owner of Cumbria Tackle and Guns urges youngsters to get outdoors