WORKERS in Cumbria are among those to have faced the biggest impact from Covid-19 in the North West, according to new research.

Analysis of employment figures by small business lender iwoca shows that one in seven jobs in Cumbria are in the two sectors worst affected last year by the pandemic - accommodation and food services, and arts and entertainment.

Analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that job seekers allowance claims in the county rose by 64 per cent between January 2020 and January 2021.

Last year, iwoca pledged to lend £220 million to small businesses in the North by the end of 2023 to help them recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

Christoph Rieche, CEO of iwoca, said: “The pandemic has been particularly tough on small businesses in areas like Cumbria where the tourism and hospitality industry play a major role in the local economy.

“We’re committed to providing business owners with the support they need to get back to running successful businesses and hiring staff once again.

“As the economy reopens, our funding pledge will give them the best chance of recovering and thriving in the long run.”

One in 20 jobs in Cumbria are in the two sectors least affected last year by the pandemic - ONS data revealed that the public administration and water supply sectors grew by 1.6 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively, between February 2020 and December 2020. Five per cent of jobs in Cumbria are in these industries.