Cumbrian businesses upbeat about hopes for 2022

Published on
11 February 2022
Cumbrian businesses are upbeat about their chances of consolidating their recovery from the pandemic this year.

Colin Hindle, who owns Granny Dowbekin’s tea room at Pooley Bridge, is hoping to maintain and even improve the return to trading last year which exceeded his expectations.

He said: “Since we reopened after the lockdown in mid-April the business has been incredibly strong, with unprecedented demand from customers. The main hope for this year is to maintain profitability and grow sales because the VAT rate going up in April will decrease profitability if sales remain constant.

"Business through winter has been extremely strong. Every single month we've beaten our sales budgets and it's a credit to our team and also our local customers for their ongoing support.”

Another business enjoying the resumption of the tourist trade is A Corner of Eden luxury holiday cottages in Ravenstonedale run by Debbie and Richard Greaves.

Debbie said: “We have great forward bookings throughout this year and into 2023, the rise in demand being caused by the need for post-lockdown getaways, people preferring to holiday in the UK during Covid and also a realisation that the UK has an enormous amount to offer.

“We hope this trend will continue and maybe when the British population decide to head off abroad again in their pre-lockdown numbers that we will see a rise in foreign visits. Our area has so much to offer in terms of nature, history, adventure and great places to eat, all of these must appeal to people from overseas who similarly feel hemmed in by restrictions.”

Further north Jamie Miles, operations manager at Brampton Golf Club, echoes those wishes while - of course - also looking forward to enjoying more rounds of golf.

“Our hopes for the New Year,” he said, “are, firstly, continued positive trading coupled with more certainty about potential pandemic restrictions to help aid long-term planning, which proved a challenge during the last 18 months, and also to continue our aim of providing members, visitors and customers with a safe place to enjoy their free time.”

Funeral director Jill Glencross, based in Dalston, speaks for all when she says she hopes to see Covid gone, adding that her aim for the business is “to continue providing the best care and highest standards in the profession”.

Scott McKerracher, Head of Commercial at The Cumberland, says the building society will continue to support customers as it has throughout the pandemic, especially as more are facing pressures from rising inflation and the prospect of increased interest rates.

When asked about his advice to hospitality businesses for 2022, he said: "Businesses will need to manage their cash really closely given the likely impact of rising costs and interest rates.

“It is absolutely crucial to do this in a volatile environment with big highs and lows in it. You might have had a really strong trading period, but don’t get blown off course by that too quickly."

“I would also urge people to keep an eye on what’s going on in the market and how it’s going to impact on you.”