Flooded bookshop could be closed for nine months

<p>The New Bookshop in Cockermouth is hoping to have a temporary shop trading by the beginning of next week after floods caused an estimated &pound;100,000 worth of damage.</p><p>Local retailers in the Cumbrian town will be setting up shop in an empty Jobcentre Plus in order to keep some money rolling in over the Christmas period. </p><p>Catherine Hetherington, the owner of The New Bookshop, said: &ldquo;Small shops want to have a presence and keep going in Cockermouth.&rdquo; </p><p>She added that she hoped to stock children&rsquo;s and local books as well as Christmas themed items. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got a computer, so we can get orders out for people, which is the most important thing in the run-up to Christmas.&rdquo; </p><p>There was very little undamaged stock left, she added, although she was yet to finalise how many books had been destroyed.</p><p>Hetherington said that she did not expect to be back in the property for another six to nine months and that this would be a &ldquo;long and hard&rdquo; process. Many organisations have offered support, including the Booksellers Association, and independent publisher Verso, which has pledged 50 free books to the store. But, Hetherington said it was still too early to say &quot;what help I need at the moment&quot;. </p><p>The shop, which has been in the family for 40 years, completed a &pound;40,000 refurbishment in July 2008. Hetherington said: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s heart-breaking. We gutted the shop and had a new look. Now we&rsquo;ll have to have another new look, there&rsquo;s no doubt.&rdquo; </p><p>The New Bookshop is yet to have its phonelines diverted, so if you wish to contact the staff, email on newbookshop@uk2.net</p><p><strong>What help be offered to booksellers?</strong> </p><p>The BA has an insurer, Willis UK, to assist booksellers. Willis UK has been instructed to contact all Cumbrian booksellers in the scheme, to make sure they know how to claim for any flood damage. The Book Trade Charity (BTBS) can also offer support. It cannot offer business help, but can provide money for personal and domestic needs. </p>