How many millions Hartlepool has lost in tourism revenue since Covid-19

Council chiefs have pledged to look at economic growth priorities for Hartlepool after the area saw a 63% drop in visitor expenditure in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 4:48 pm
Hartlepool Historic Quay, featuring HMS Trincomalee, has had to close during lockdowns since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s economic growth and regeneration committee this week heard an update on how Covid-19 has impacted upon businesses in the area.

Council officers said estimated figures obtained from STEAM, a tourism economic impact modelling process, say that Hartlepool visitor numbers were down 59% to 1.5 million people in 2020.

They also estimated the number of days visitors spent in Hartlepool fell by 61% to 1.6 million and that overall visitor expenditure fell by 63% to £75.5 million in 2020.

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A Hartlepool Borough Council meeting has discussed how to support businesses now that coronavirus restrictions have eased.

Beverley Bearne, council assistant director for growth and development, said like other areas, Hartlepool businesses have been “stifled” due to Covid-19.

She said: “The biggest impact we’ve seen is leisure and tourism, which has been particularly more as a result of their inability to operate in a way that they normally would.

“It’s a significant impact, and one not specific to Hartlepool, but it is recognised regionally and nationally.

“I think there’s a couple of programmes underway to address particular packages of support to that sector.”

The council has already been central to delivering Government administered support to local businesses, equating to approximately £52.5million.

This was made up of around £17million worth of business rates relief and £35.5million of business support grants.

Other support has included dedicated Covid-19 business web pages, ongoing weekly communication, and the promotion of re-opening the High Street with the delivery of the Shop Hartlepool campaign.

Israr Hussain, economic growth manager, said they are engaging with businesses to look at how they can help them invest and grow post-pandemic, with many established companies in the town proving to be “fairly resilient”.

He said: “Now we’re in a position where the easing of restrictions are coming into place, businesses have started to get back to normal, and we need to now focus on talking to businesses.

“Not necessarily about recovery, but about the future and investment to get the economy back on track.

“This is the opportunity now for us to go and basically say you’ve survived, thankfully, let’s talk about what the future is.”