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Furlough numbers jump by more than 10,000 in Cornwall

Furlough numbers jump by more than 10,000 in Cornwall

Published by Helen Down at 5:51pm 16th July 2020.

By: Local Democracy Reporter Richard Whitehouse

The number of people in Cornwall who have been furloughed due to the coronavirus crisis jumped by more than 10,000 in just a month.

Cornwall Council chief executive Kate Kennally revealed the figures yesterday when talking about the impact of COVID-19 in Cornwall.

She said that at the end of May there were 68,500 people on furlough in Cornwall but by the end of June that had increased to 79,700.

The chief executive said that this represented just over 25% of all people of working age in Cornwall.

Details were revealed as it was announced that the Eden Project was starting consultation with staff around plans to cut its workforce by around 40%.

Ms Kennally said that it was a “bitter blow for staff and for the Eden Project at this time”.

She said that the council was working closely with Eden and that Cornwall Development Company was also looking to help staff affected “to get them back into work at the earliest opportunity”.

Ms Kennally added: “We are seeking to put a wrap around support for those staff who are affected.”

She said that the Eden announcement was an indicator of the impact that coronavirus was having on the Cornish economy.

The chief executive said: “It is no surprise to colleagues that we are expecting the economic impact for Cornwall to be significant.

“The financial impact was £630million to the visitor economy due to the lockdown. One in three private sector jobs are supported by visitor spend.”

She explained that spending was 40 to 50% below the expected levels for this time of year and that was having an impact on the high street and towns.

Cornwall is particularly exposed to the impact of the economic downturn as it has a higher proportion of small and micro businesses as well as a high number of people who are self-employed.

Ms Kennally said: “The sad news at Eden is not going to be the last of difficult announcements which will be made.

“We absolutely have a vision for Cornwall that is about bouncing back better. Our focus is on a balanced and green economy, investing in good quality affordable homes and investing in our towns.

“Cornwall Council right now it working with the LEP to apply for £14.5m of shovel ready schemes, bringing forward projects that will be ready in the next 18 months.”

She added that the council’s investment company Treveth was also working with local suppliers and contractors to bring forward developments.

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