Academics say more than 2,300 workers in Stevenage could lose jobs as COVID-19 lockdown squeezes economy

shop closing down sale sign

Research by Prof Marc Cowling and Prof Ross Brown analyses the economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

New research published by leading business academics predicts more than 250 Stevenage businesses going bust due to the coronavirus lockdown, with an estimated 2,372 workers affected.

The findings were published by Professor Marc Cowling, of the University of Derby's College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, and Professor Ross Brown of St Andrews, who were studying the financial implications of the COVID-19 lockdown on the 100 largest cities and towns in the United Kingdom.

Their work, which ranks the percentage of job losses in a town or city's total workforce, indicates 268 businesses in Stevenage are at immediate risk of failing as they could go bust.

Their research grimly concludes that this could plunge 2,372 workers in the town into unemployment, "with little chance of finding new jobs."

Commenting on the research, Professor Cowling said: "The immediate consequences of the COVID-19 crisis on the economies of our cities and towns will be extremely severe, at a time when people are already struggling to make ends meet and pay their bills."

Yesterday, Stevenage was placed into Tier 3 coronavirus measures alongside the rest of Hertfordshire and Central Beds, prompting backlash from both residents and the town's MP, Stephen McPartland.