Beverley and Holderness MP, Graham Stuart, has met with the Minister for Business & Industry to impress on the Government the caravan industry’s importance for the local area.
Minister Nadhim Zahawi heard from local MPs about the effect that the lockdown has had on an industry which supports over 3,206 jobs in the East Riding alone, along with thousands of more jobs in the supply chain and those on holiday parks. More than 200,000 people are employed by holiday parks across the country.
Caravan and holiday parks were forced to close on 26th March in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus as the British public was advised to stay indoors and prevented from visiting second homes or holiday homes. With parks closed, consumer sales of caravans immediately dried up, while reduced revenue in the sector threatens the future sales of caravans and static homes ready for next year’s season.
Commenting on the meeting, Graham said: “Caravan manufacturing and holiday parks are a particular success story for the East Riding. It’s a real hub for the industry and supports thousands of jobs – from the manufacturing itself all the way to the tourism it brings to towns in my constituency like Withernsea and Hornsea.
“I’ve heard first-hand about the difficulties the industry has faced over the past few months and taken many of their concerns across to Ministers. As a result, the Government has made changes to their support schemes – extending the furlough scheme until the end of October and making it much more flexible in the meantime.
“Despite this, the signs are ominous over the slower winter months. Forecasts show production is down by over half, and it already looks as though Swift is going to lose 5% of their workforce.
“That’s why I met with the Minister – to see if there’s anything more that can be done to support such an important sector to my constituency.”
It was revealed on 13 July that caravan giant Swift Group may be cutting more than 50 jobs at their Cottingham base ahead of their return to manufacturing at the start of September. Graham was also joined on the call by Beverley-based manufacturer ABI.
Holiday parks reopened on 4th July, with two households able to vacation together under current Government guidelines.
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