Intervention will help Gloucestershire avoid potential 49,000 job losses and £1billion-plus drop in GVA

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 25 July 2020 7:59

Intervention will help Gloucestershire avoid potential 49,000 job losses and £1billion-plus drop in GVA

Gloucestershire’s local enterprise partnership has positioned itself front and centre of the county’s economic recovery from lockdown with a dramatic package of measures to help businesses. 

GFirst LEP describes its intervention as “an unprecedented package to get businesses up and trading again, restore business, consumer and community confidence, and offer support to those who do lose their jobs”. 

Snippets of information, including that 89,000 staff were on the Government’s furlough scheme in the county, have been released over the last few weeks while the LEP and partners digested the data which led to today’s today (July 7). 

“The county is commencing on a long, complex and difficult journey in a world that has been turned upside down in just a few months.” David Owen, chief executive officer for GFirst LEP. 

“We have produced three reports in total, the first document is an Economic Impact Report produced by Hardisty Jones outlining the likely impact on the county, districts, and business sectors. 

“This analysis was to assist GFirst LEP develop a sector based, economic recovery plan that would help each of the district authorities in Gloucestershire to develop place-based recovery plans.”

He added: “Three scenarios are presented: worst-case, middle-case, and best-case. GVA (gross value added - the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area) modelling of these scenarios shows that GVA is forecast to fall in quarter two of 2020 to between 71 per cent (£2.9 billion) and 91 per cent (£3.7 billion) of pre-crisis quarterly levels (£4.1 billion).”   

“Employment initially falls fastest in the middle scenario, to 92 per cent of the pre-crisis level in Q3 2020, a loss of 26,000 jobs, but it then starts to recover. 

“In the worst-case scenario employment falls more in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021, after current Government support ceases, to 85 per cent of the pre-crisis level, a loss of 49,000 jobs from the pre-crisis level of employment.” 

“The second document is a sector analysis report which has been derived primarily from work by the LEP’s Business Groups and business surveys conducted through our Growth Hub network. 

"And finally, the Recovery Plan – working closely with all our stakeholders from the private, public and voluntary sector, we have produced an extensive range of potential interventions that we think will get the county back on track.” 

Examples of these interventions include a promotional campaign aimed at getting people to stay, shop and spend in the county, a drive to recruit business advisors to their growth hub network, a push to promote a start-up businesses and promotion of home-working to add pressure to the need for better broadband. 

Perhaps the biggest of all of the interventions, a bid to confirm what amounts to more than £1blln for major infrastructure projects for the county including the A417 Missing Link, improvements to  Junction 10 of the M5 and work to improve Junction 9 at Tewkesbury. 

There is also an emphasis on potential growth sectors including advanced engineering, cyber tech, agri-tech and green technology which it says “will form a cornerstone of the county’s economic recovery”.  

The full plan can be found at the GFirst LEP website.

First published Friday, July 24.