A BUSINESSMAN has rescued a village surgery in jeopardy in time for Christmas.

Askam businessman Harry Barker has bought ‘The Surgery’ on Parklands Drive in Askam from the previous GP, Dr Prakash Jain.

The building will house the new GP and the team from Duddon Valley Medical Practice, who currently have sites in Kirkby and Broughton.

The news comes after many months of negotiations and appeals from a group set up by local MP Simon Fell and County Councillor for Dalton North, Ben Shirley. The pair co-chair the ‘Save our Surgery’ group which has been meeting fortnightly with the aim of reaching this goal.

Mr Barker said: “Askam needs a doctors surgery.

"As soon as Dr Jain announced he was going to be retiring I decided to make some enquiries around buying the building to keep the surgery in Askam.

"We then had to go about finding a new doctor and thankfully Dr Wilson and his team answered our call.”

Cllr Ben Shirley, Barrow Borough and Cumbria County Councillor and co-chair of the Save our Surgery Group said he is 'delighted' with the news.

He said: “I can honestly say that I’ve never lost so much sleep or carried such weight on my shoulders as I have with this project. So many local people have been in touch to tell me how important it is to them that we save the surgery and keep it in Askam.

"I’m delighted and extremely grateful to everyone involved. I’m looking forward to seeing the new medical practice and their team helping our local community soon.”

Simon Fell, MP for Barrow and Furness, said: "I couldn’t be happier that there will now be a GP with full dispensing services in Askam, so that local people can continue to see their GP in the village where they live.”

Kay Wilson of Duddon Valley Medical Practice said: “Our team are very excited about working in Askam. We have recruited and trained new staff and we’re all raring to go, to start helping our lovely patients from Askam and Ireleth."

The new practice is hoping to open its doors to patients in February.