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'Fewer jobs will be lost in Torbay due to coronavrius that first thought'

The predicted number of job losses in Torbay due to Covid-19 has been scaled down.

But the impact could still be devastating in the area which is heavily reliant on tourism and hospitality.

Councillors were told the latest estimate is 2,600 people being out of work due to the pandemic.

That figure is significantly lower than earlier estimates of between 12,000 and 18,000 redundancies.

The latest figure was given to Torbay Council’s Cabinet by Alan Denby, director of economic strategy for TDA, the council-owned economic development company.

Mr Denby told councillors the new estimate had been produced by Oxford Economics for South West councils.

He warned that although the prediction was lower than earlier figures, the losses would still represent five per cent of the jobs in Torbay.

Mr Denby said: “If we do have 2,600 people out of work as a consequence of Covid, we will have a real challenge to our economy.”

Councillors heard that Torbay had seen 16,500 people workers on the Government’s furlough scheme.

That is a third of the total workforce and the highest number in the South West, double the rate in Exeter.

In another study, Torbay was listed alongside the Isle of Wight as the areas most at risk in the post-Covid recession.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies blamed the relatively high level of deprivation, elderly population and reliance on the visitor economy.

The council has produced an economic recovery plan to set out how it will support the economy which has been hit by the pandemic.

Councillors have been told there are some positive signs of regeneration despite gloomy economic indicators.

A series of major hotel investments are under way in Torquay and Paignton including £100million from the Fragrance Group to redevelop four sites.
 

By Ed Oldfield, local democracy reporting partnership

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