TOURISM across York and North Yorkshire is expected to shed 20,000 jobs due to Covid-19.

The figures follow an analysis by York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership which also forecasts a 13 per cent reduction in the local economy and a 40 per cent drop in the value of tourism this year.

The LEP has unveiled a new regional economic recovery plan to tackle the economic impact of the coronavirus.

This Greener, Fairer, Stronger plan will shape policy and funding decisions for York and North Yorkshire and aim to stimulate the economy as the region emerges from the pandemic.

Areas of focus include supporting businesses to be resilient and innovative; helping people back into employment; and adapting skills delivery to respond to changing demand and new ways of learning.

Rejuvenating public spaces and town centres is another aim, along with ensuring digital technology is accessible to everyone.

The plan also focuses on stimulating job creation and business growth by accelerating the transition to a greener, carbon negative region.

David Kerfoot, LEP chair, said the pandemic had brought challenges for everyone, but 'impacted heaviest on those in our society who already had the least'.

"We must ensure those who have previously been left behind aren’t pushed further into the margins. We must seize the incredibly unique opportunity we have to grow and strengthen our economy, whilst positively mitigating against climate change.

“The LEP have always championed partnership and connections locally, working at ground level knowing that this builds up a picture that benefits the region and country as a whole. Only by working in collaboration across the whole region, can we meet our ambitions for recovery.

“The Covid-19 crisis has amplified the need for us to deliver against the priorities laid out in our Local Industrial Strategy, legitimising our longer-term vision. We hope our region's leaders, in both the public and private sector, will continue to work together to address the challenges our region faces, and grow out of the Covid-19 pandemic with an economy that is greener, fairer and stronger.”

Carolyn Frank, of Federation of Smalls Businesses, said: “The region-wide collaboration behind this vision is much needed. Strategies and plans will need to be bold, capitalising on our many assets especially the small business community who have shown such resilience and adaptability. They need all our ongoing support to regain their pre-Covid momentum and overcome the still considerable challenges to their livelihoods.

“Politics and silo working were rightly put aside to forge an innovative approach during the crisis. A recovery vision that recognises this value and achieves cross regional buy in, will help us get back to business in a sustainable way, with great benefit to all our communities in York and North Yorkshire.”

University of York’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charlie Jeffery said: “It’s so important to have this vision for economic recovery, as it will drive actions and priorities to help our city and region move forward. We know the University has a really critical role to play in this collective effort, through our campus activities and teaching, so that staff and students contribute to this greener, fairer and stronger agenda. And, of course, through one of our biggest strengths - our research - into areas such as finding sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, food sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”