Grand Design Recognition For Maryport Business

Kevin-McCloudA Maryport business has been named as a “green hero” by TV presenter Kevin McCloud in recognition of its energy-saving products.

Chimney Sheep, based on the Solway Industrial Estate, uses the wool of Herdwick sheep to make draught excluders for chimneys.

The company was one of a small number of exhibitors hand-picked by the presenter to take centre stage at a Grand Designs exhibition in Birmingham, which was visited by thousands of people last week.

Company boss Sally Phillips, 45, of Horsman Street, Cockermouth, said: “There were tens of thousands of people through the exhibition over its four days. We had hundreds of expressions of interest. It has certainly raised our profile.”

She came up with her excluder idea when she was a volunteer bat worker for Natural England and often called to houses where people had bats in the chimney.

She realised that energy was being lost through draughty old chimney spaces.

Mr McCloud, who presents Channel 4 series Grand Designs, said four per cent of household energy was lost through chimneys. He said using wool as a draught excluder was a perfect solution.

Bus Cuts Cost Commerce

Maryport Bus CutsCuts to the Maryport town bus service are already having an adverse effect on local traders.

Town centre business owners say afternoon business has been affected by the decision by Stagecoach to stop the 57 service running after 2.10pm on weekdays and 1.50pm on Saturdays.

The cut in services  follows the Cumbria County Council’s elimination of all its bus subsidies as a cost saving measures.

Cafe owner Annabell Winn said: “I’ve started closing on Wednesday afternoons because the town is so quiet.

“People depending on the town bus service have a maximum of four hours to complete their business. That doesn’t always leave time for a cup and a chat.”

Karen Thompson, of Top Drawer on Senhouse Street, said the town was deserted after the last bus at 2.10pm.

She added: “It is early days and hard to see if it will impact hard on business or if we will just be busier in the mornings.”

Michelle Hansen, manager of Heron Foods, said the shop was extremely quiet in the afternoons.

Publican George Kemp said regular customers from Ewanrigg either went home on the last bus at 2.10pm or did not go to the town centre at all.

Meanwhile, Hayley Bishop, from the county council’s Neighbourhood Forum, has been taking action to try to minimise the impact on elderly people and those who cannot afford other transport.

She and transport officer Caroline Watson have held meetings with pensioners’ and residents’ groups.

She said Maryport Health Services would be provided with bus timetables and asked to try to fit affected bus users into appointments to suit those timetables.

She said she would also be promoting the use of a community car. An appeal for more volunteer drivers would be made shortly.