Caravan Industry: Hull and East Riding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:04 pm on 15th June 2020.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Shadow Minister (Education) 9:04 pm, 15th June 2020

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. Of course, wherever we can prove and make the case for safe reopening, I urge the Government to consider that.

The longer the closures have continued, the greater the losses have become. As I speak here, in mid-June, with possibly the entire season in jeopardy, business failures and substantial redundancies in the winter look inevitable without further Government intervention. The tourer and motorhome industry has lost its income from seasonal sales, and the lack of orders taken will leave it unable to sustain itself over winter. The unsold stock in the supply chain will depress whatever demand there is. The static caravan manufacturers face the prospect that whenever caravan parks and holiday parks reopen, there will be little demand for the production of new units over the winter for the yearly refreshing of rental units. Those businesses will be either unable or extremely reluctant to spend money, because of the loss of revenue, and will choose instead to make do with last year’s model. That is born out of independent forecasts for 2020, with sales predicted to be worse than those experienced in the global financial crisis of 2008. Compared with 2019, touring caravans face a market decline of 49%, holiday or static caravans face a decline of 56% and motorhomes face a decline of 55%. Thousands of employees are currently furloughed. They will be made redundant—current estimates are for about 40% of the entire workforce—or they will lose their jobs through company failure. The economic and social impact will be directly felt in areas already under tremendous economic pressure and with high levels of deprivation.