SEASIDE towns are at risk of losing their high streets for good due to the Covid pandemic, research reveals.
They rely on travel, leisure and hospitality — which have all been hit badly by lockdown closures.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Analysis by the Labour Party highlighted 20 tourist destinations in England where high streets are in danger. Their list includes Blackpool, Brighton, Southend-on-Sea in Essex, Torbay in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.
The Isles of Scilly are deemed most at risk.
According to the research, 44 per cent of its businesses are linked to hotels and B&Bs, restaurants and pubs, clothing and book shops — which in normal times would prop up its economy.
Labour warned that cash reserves are drying up and debts are building as several government support schemes including furlough and extra grants are set to come to an end within weeks.
It wants the VAT cut to carry on to keep businesses going until firms can get back on their feet in the summer.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to extend the business rates holiday in his Budget next month. Last night Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband warned: “Standing by and letting these businesses collapse with the vaccine roll-out making huge progress and recovery in sight would be devastating for owners and employees.
“The Government must stand up for local high streets and abandon the sink or swim approach.
“We cannot allow these places to be hollowed out.”
GOT a story? RING HOAR on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]