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:
- Ebbw Vale
- Merthyr Tydfil
- Milford Haven
Overall 61 towns in Wales are in the top 800 expected to be hardest hit.
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
- 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.