A WEST Cumbrian mayor has praised the resilience of his town's business community, following a road closure last week caused by a wagon crash in Cockermouth.

Cockermouth mayor Richard Watson has praised traders in the town for their resilience in the wake of a number of recent blows, with the latest being the closure of Kirkgate for three days after a wagon crashed into a building.

Cumberland Council placed an emergency road closure on the street after extensive property damage from the crane collision, which occurred on the evening of June 19, with the road re-opening on the evening of June 21.

Cumbria Police attended the scene, confirming that a driver was identified and reported following the incident.

Speaking on the traders' resilience, Cllr Watson said: "I am full of praise for the traders. I had a meeting at the town hall with the clerk, deputy mayor and representatives of the Chamber of Trade yesterday - they are obviously suffering from a series of shocks including the Old Courthouse falling down and other blows to trade.

"From the town council's point of view, we very much want to keep Cockermouth a place which has a good range of independent local shops which we would encourage people to use. The main thing is that we do encourage residents of the town to use the shops."

The mayor said that they are working hard with Cumberland Council who in turn are working hard with their legal and engineering department 'to get the situation with the Old Courthouse sorted one way or another'.

He said: "That is a blow I know to traders in that part of town and the Market Place who I know have noticed a particular fall off in trade... particularly those who are affected by the wall of water tanks which has been built on one side of the road."

The mayor praised the many options that Cockermouth has in terms of retail offering, as well as the many new businesses which have popped up in the town over the last year.

He said: "Broadly I think the town centre is brilliant. We have got some excellent shops and if we all pull together to use those local shops, and when we have events in the town centre, come down and take part."