THE PATH linking Waterside Cafe and Bistro to Lowther Street was reopened briefly over Christmas but will be closed again soon when the project restarts. 

Waterside Cafe has been beset with difficulties since the Environment Agency started construction works for the flood prevention scheme outside its front door in October. 

The path connecting the cafe to Lowther Street had been closed for months before Christmas, taking potential customers on a diversion through the residential estate behind the cafe. For a couple of days, the path linking the cafe to Aynam Bridge was also closed, completely cutting the cafe off from footfall. 

Over the Christmas period, the path has been opened by the workers allowing people to fully access the cafe once again. However, owner Magda Szymanska-Linowiecka said that the path will close again on January 9 with the diversion back in place. 

She said: "The footpath has been opened since the end of December. It's due to be closed again on January 9 with diversion in place, although I'm waiting for the EA to update me with it. I don't know how long it will be closed for, unfortunately."

When asked if footfall picked up over Christmas, she replied: "It did pick up a little bit, but again lots of people think it's closed anyway."

Ms Szymanska-Linowiecka promised to provide an update when she knows more about when the footpath will open again. 

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 or the Community Flood Scheme Information Hub on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-4.30pm to speak to a member of the team.