Storm damaged road reopens early paving way for festival return

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A major road in the Lake District which collapsed during Storm Desmond has reopened three weeks ahead of schedule - paving the way for one of the region’s biggest festivals.

The organisers of Keswick Mountain Festival have welcomed the announcement that the A591 has reopened earlier than expected, just a week before the event.

The news will make it easier for thousands of visitors to explore Cumbria during the festival, and for the big names who are signed up to appear between 19 and 22 May, such as Julia Bradbury, James Cracknell and Bjorn Again, and chart toppers Scouting for Girls and Toploader.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Keswick Mountain Festival has grown into one of the UK’s best loved outdoor events since its foundation in 2007. When they launched the 2016 festival in October last year, organisers promised KMF’s biggest ever programme of outdoor activities, sporting events, high profile speakers, live music and family friendly attractions. Within weeks, the success of one of Cumbria’s major events was put in jeopardy by the devastation caused by the winter storms.

Nicola Meadley, Keswick Mountain Festival director, comments: “Most important of all, the early reopening of the A591 is fantastic news for the whole Cumbrian community. Keswick Mountain Festival has always worked closely with local businesses, tourism organisations and individuals, so we have been acutely aware of the huge and sustained impact of the storms.

“When the devastation hit, we were fortunate that our event was some months away. Nevertheless, it seemed certain that the festival would face some serious issues, particularly given the ambitious plans that we had outlined for our 10th anniversary. The good news is that the positive messages that organisations throughout Cumbria have been communicating all along have been heard and people haven’t been deterred from booking tickets. Now that the A591 is open again, thousands of visitors will discover for themselves that this beautiful area is ready to welcome the world again this summer.”

Keswick Mountain Festival is expected to attract about 20,000 visitors to Cumbria from 19-22 May.

To find out more about the event, visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk, email info@keswickmountainfestival.co.uk, call 03300 555 734 or follow @KeswickFestival on Twitter.