Wales’ economy to be hit hardest by coronavirus lockdown, research shows

Market Day in Rhyl. Picure by Joe Blundell (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Wales’ economy will be hardest hit by the coronavirus lockdown, according to new research.

The research conducted by the Centre For Towns and the University of Southampton, indicates that Wales will suffer most, while the South East will fare the best.

Among the towns particularly badly hit in Wales will be Kinmel Bay, Tredegar and Llanelli, according to the research published by Sky News. Wales has 12 towns in the top 20 expected to suffer most.

43% of towns in Wales are in the worst affected tenth of towns overall. In contrast, just 3% of the towns in the South East are in this group.

Other towns in Wales whose economies are expected to be badly hit include:

  • Ystradgynlais
  • Ebbw Vale
  • Abertillery
  • Tonypandy
  • Prestatyn
  • Aberdare
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Rhyl
  • Porth
  • Rhondda
  • Risca
  • Maesteg
  • Ammanford
  • Tonyrefail
  • Llandudno
  • Milford Haven
  • Bargod

Overall 61 towns in Wales are in the top 800 expected to be hardest hit.

 

Deprivation

The risk ranking has been produced by calculating the proportion of a town’s population employed in industries that are temporarily shut down.

Much of this is a result of a town’s pre-existing deprivation, the researchers said. The indices used in this study have been calculated by taking into account a range of factors including:

  • the percentage of a population with bad health
  • the percentage of households in fuel poverty
  • distance to the nearest core city
  • net annual income
  • unemployment
  • how the fortunes of a town have changed over the preceding decades.

The economic pain of the COVID-19 shut down will compound these existing problems.

Coastal towns are expected to suffer particularly as they have comparatively higher levels of unemployment and are less likely to have diverse economies, relying heavily on sole markets, for example tourism, researchers said.

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Simon Gruffydd
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Sky news. Well well. Does this mean the mainstream media is starting to change tack? The observation that locking down a society will cause misery, destitution and a significant amount of additional deaths than this new coronavirus could ever bring on its own has been echoed by specialists in disease control for weeks. Need proof? Take a look for yourself: https://wethepeople.wales/30-medical-experts-question-governments-response-to-covid-19/ So is the MSM just starting to catch up? And then will “our representatives” follow along? For now it’s our only hope.

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Simon, 2000 doctors scientists and profs, including the chaiman of Nobel commitee, just signed a petition for the
Swedish Government to tighten the country’s ruls, following news that corona had spread to every section of their country. Now then, what would you say to them?

Ceri
Guest
Ceri

Science is not a democracy. ‘90% of doctors/scientists/experts agree’ tends to be a shorthand for ‘We don’t have a definitive answer yet’. The medical community seems to be suggesting, (not the whole community, but perhaps a majority), that the world maintains this lock down. Experts in other fields, however, have began to ring alarm bells regarding knock-on effects; economic depression, mass unemployment (along with associated negative health outcomes) and even a stark warning from the UN about a possible large-scale famine. Hyper-focus on one area of a crisis (direct deaths from Covid-19) will inevitably result in us sleepwalking into a… Read more »

Dr John Ball
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Dr John Ball

Sadly no surprise. The Welsh economy has been in decline for decades and even more so over the last twenty years; labour AMs, and for that matter, all AMs; please note. Many economists have coined the word “undeveloping” i.e. not just in decline but actually going backwards. As I have asked countless times: where is the response; where is the plan; where is the strategy? Independence may not the overnight silver bullet, but it will mean that we can get on with developing our economy; the other successful small nations of Europe must look at us and laugh – or… Read more »

Ceri
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Ceri

Due to the nature of our political union, can it even be said that there is a ‘Welsh’ economy? In some respect, we are simply an aspect of the wider UK economy are we not? As for your final point, I completely agree. I love studying Balto-Scandi history/culture and often imagine myself as an Estonian or a Latvian regarding Wales. Pity is always the prevailing emotion, along with a will to impart lessons as how a small nation can thrive.

Dr John Ball
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Dr John Ball

Ceri. You raise an interesting point. Wales is a colonial economy; just as those of the soviet block were – and look at them. The Economist no less recently reported that the economies of the three Baltic states were growing at three times the rate of others in the EU.

Ceri
Guest
Ceri

Precisely. We may quibble as to the nature of the economy as it currently operates and the direction it should take after we achieve independence, I’m sure we can both agree that independence, in and of itself, is the only mechanism by which we can hope to achieve maximal prosperity . Good to see meaningful contributions coming from Prifysgol Abertawe, a place dear to my and my family (even if she is prone to disappointing us as well)!

Mathew Rees
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Mathew Rees

Bar Llandudno, all of the places mentioned above are absolute dives. Can we please stop pretending that they’re desirable places to live? When will people realise many of these towns no longer have any reason to exist? Nobody under 40 remembers an industrial Wales or an open coal mine. Yes heritage is important but so is looking to the future.

If these towns were in America they would be abandoned.

Ceri
Guest
Ceri

You clearly haven’t been to Ystradgynlais for a while.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Man has no respect for communities and no interest in defending them and helping them find new purpose.

Mathew Rees
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Mathew Rees

We’ve spent 40 years looking for these answers and things are getting worse.

Ceri
Guest
Ceri

So the answer is…*drum roll*

j humphrys
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j humphrys

************* INDY! ***********

Jason Evans
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Jason Evans

“I spent 40 years looking for the answer” who are you ? And as long as the likes of you are around things will never get better. I noticed you was asked a question and besides being given the correct answer you still didn’t have wherewithal to answer, is that cos the truth doesn’t suit your spineless agenda.
Save Milford Haven, Annibyniaeth i Gymru

Tony Mc
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Tony Mc

Yeah you haven’t been Llandudno for a long time then

ROBERT MATTHIAS
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ROBERT MATTHIAS

when i worked for the Prince of Wales trust Wales was seen in European terms as an area of special need and poverty at the time the UK was the 4th largest economy now its 6th in the world so Brexit was not good for Wales now we have to go cap in hand to London

Tony Mc
Guest
Tony Mc

Is there An answer for seaside towns? I believe there is, the councils need to run them as they do any other rural towns and no longer expect tourism, it’s sad but true, too many seaside towns right across the UK not just Wales have been in decline since the 1980s, pumping life via cash into their tourism facilities is unfortunately a waste.