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Cornish towns among 'hardest hit' by lockdown

Cornish towns among 'hardest hit' by lockdown

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:52am 23rd April 2020.

There is a warning that some towns in Cornwall are among the areas hardest hit by lockdown across the whole country.

Coastal and ex-industrial towns are 'most economically at risk' from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research.

The research, conducted by the Centre For Towns and the University of Southampton, shows many of the 20 worst hit are in Cornwall, such as Penzance, St Blazey, and St Ives.

In fact it shows nearly four in 10 towns in the South West are in the worst affected group in the country.

The region is likely being badly affected by the lockdown because so much of the local economy is based on tourism and leisure.

market jew street penzance

Where is the lockdown hitting hardest?

While this gives some indication of how hard it might be for a town to bounce back when restrictions are lifted, it's also interesting to examine which towns have been worst hit in the immediacy by the economic impact of lockdown.

In other words, which towns are seeing the largest portion of the local economies ground to a halt.

This "industrial sector lockdown risk" has been calculated based on which towns have the highest proportions of workers in industries that have shut down such as retail, hospitality and arts.

Nearly four in 10 towns in the South West are in the worst affected group in the country, as are three in 10 Welsh towns.

Many of the 20 worst hit are in Cornwall and Devon such as Penzance, St Blazey, St Ives and Wells. The region is likely being badly affected by the lockdown because so much of the local economy is based on tourism and leisure.

st ives

Small towns are, on the whole, being the worst affected. In fact, only six of the 50 worst affected towns were larger and even then they were only listed as "medium" towns.

It's perhaps no coincidence that the South West has one of the highest proportions of small towns of any region nationally.

The research counts just 10 "core cities". Of these Liverpool was found to be most affected by the shut down with Sheffield close behind it.

The data also reveals towns in the UK that have the highest reliance on various sectors of the economy.

Whickham in the North East for example has the highest percentage of its population employed in retail - 38%, while tourist towns such as Ilkley, Whitby and Swanage were most heavily reliant on the hospitality industry. They are all being badly hit by the uncertainty of lockdown.

You can read more about it here.

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