Chamber calls for action!
This is the end of the beginning as they say. Government support packages have provided a degree of protection so far but now the potential impact of lockdown, social distancing and shaken world markets is looming - we need strong governmentalsupport for businesses and we need it now.
Our Lancashire civil aerospace firms, one half of the 4th largest aerospace cluster in the world, need proactive action now. Action to help them retain their skilled workers until the sector’s growth returns. We need Government’s promised levelling up investment to be accelerated - High Speed 2 and the Northern Powerhouse Rail investment to come now - together, concurrent not consecutive.
We need military and small modular reactor investments to be pushed up the funding agenda. We need skills support packages to ensure our aerospace and advanced manufacturing apprentices are still grown.
And in hospitality - we need a clear route map to profitable reopening. In an industry where breakeven comes at 60 per cent occupancy, social distancing even at one metre plus threatens that. How can we reopen and survive?
Civil aerospace firms need proactive action now
Whilst the change from two metres to one is welcome, what else can be done to support the sector, to encourage the customers in but reassure all that we are safe to dine, entertain and network? How do we create social distance policing by all, so needed so customers and owners alike work together to see businesses recover, yet still hold back virus resurgence?
Give business the chance to plan and innovate, to see a future effective way of operating. And while we’re at it - let’s see parity of hospitality sector VAT with Europe…..11 per cent...seven per cent? Decisiveness needed. And now.