A KENDAL cafe owner says her business has lost footfall and even closed for two days because of flood prevention works on her doorstep.

Waterside Cafe normally has easy access from Lowther Street and the path from the Aynam Road footbridge.

However it has been beset with difficulties since the Environment Agency started its current stage of the flood prevention works outside the front door. 

The works are designed to help prevent another disaster like Storm Desmond in 2015. However, the construction process has been an issue for the cafe with the linking access from Lowther Street closed since October. 

Magda Szymanska-Linowiecka, owner of the cafe, said: "Storm Desmond happened eight years ago and lots of people lost houses and businesses. I had to close my business for 12 months but I received support from the insurance company and my previous landlords. 

"Then we expanded the business and had to start getting customers back, then we had Covid, and as soon as it's finished bang - we have the flood defence scheme works. Not too much of a bounce back, is it?

READ MORE: Waterside Café and Bistro to temporarily shut after footpath closure

"The project started about two years ago, I was promised lots of help from the EA, unfortunately, it's only words and statements - no real help. Our customers have to find their way to get to us, using steps, going behind houses, it's like a labyrinth with signs all over saying footpath closed."

She said that the footpath is due to open again on December 22 but expressed doubts that it will be. Magda posted videos on social media of the noise and disruption the work has caused over recent months. She said customer habits take a long time to change even when disruption ends. 

In October the cafe closed for two days after it was announced the footpath would close in both directions temporarily.

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: "Kendal Flood Scheme is a major engineering project involving extensive construction work that requires road and path closures at times to ensure public safety.

“Once the scheme is completed it will provide better protection to more than 1,100 local businesses and 1,400 homes.

“We are doing everything possible to keep disruption to a minimum and are offering compensation for loss of earnings to any business that is affected.

“We have had meetings with businesses owners in the town, including the proprietor of Waterside Café and Bistro, and local MP Tim Farron to provide an update on works that are planned and how to apply for compensation.”

Business owners who would like more information or to make a claim should email KendalFRMS:environment-agency.gov.uk or the Community Flood Scheme Information Hub on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-4.30pm to speak to a member of the team.