A village shop which opened during the first coronavirus lockdown has celebrated a year of serving its community.

The Village Pantry, in Seascale, which opened at the height of the first lockdown, has been praised by Copeland MP Trudy Harrison for its frontline service to the community and championing local produce in the hardest of times.

For Village Pantry owner Paula Leggett, the recognition comes on the heels of being praised by the High Sheriff of Cumbria as it was handed a Sheriff’s award.

The shop was also awarded top marks for hygiene and cleanliness by Copeland Council's food standards agency.

Paula said: “My staff have made it possible.

"They have been an amazing support both to me as a new business owner and the village community during the whole of the pandemic.

“We were always open when everything else had to close for Covid.

"The staff put their best foot forward, long before any of them were able to get the jab, in order to keep all essential supplies available to the village.“

Trudy Harrison, who had heard of the shop's staff's reputation, came to wish the Village Pantry a happy first birthday. She said: “I think Paula has shown courage, enterprise and risk-taking, just when the community of Seascale needed it the most.

“It's wonderful how you have supported local produce and local products from around this area on your shelves.

“Talking to colleagues in Government, as well as the National Park Authority, we know that this year will see the highest number of visitors to the area for some time, and a shop located by the seaside will do very well.”

County councillor Paul Turner also attended to wish the shop well after a tough first year in operation.