Gloucestershire’s LEP, GFirst, was in the process of developing a recovery plan to guide its response to the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 and the associated lockdown. Each of the local authorities in Gloucestershire were also developing recovery plans. To inform these plans, GFirst required an estimate of the immediate, medium and longer-term impacts of Covid-19 on the wider Gloucestershire economy and each individual local authority area.
HJA were commissioned to deliver a report examining the impact of the pandemic across three different scenarios which examine different levels of initial decline, across different lengths of recovery time from this decline. Scenarios proposed by other consultancies were also considered. For example, HJA’s Best-case Scenario was informed by a ‘Virus Contained’ scenario proposed by McKinsey.
Economic impact was estimated by constructing a model to generate a range of potential values across all three scenarios. HJA estimated the economic impact in terms of employment and Gross Value Added (GVA) across 17 broad industrial sectors, which were then separated into 5 high-level groups. These groups were Primary & Production, Manufacturing, Construction, Retail & Transportation, Private Services and Public Services.
During the course of the modelling, consideration was given to four phases or time to recover from economic decline, these were Lockdown, Restart, Recovery and New normal/Future Growth. The phases of recovery was influenced by estimated impacts of the ending of the Government’s Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the subsequent impact on redundancies. Initially, we had assumed that each of these phases would last for a specific period of time, however, it became clear through the process that movement between the phases will be different under different scenarios.
By request, specific forecasts were estimated for Manufacturing, Aerospace, Cyber tech and Agri-tech which are priority industries for GFirst.
Our final report presented the results for each local authority and Gloucestershire as a whole, providing a range of the potential economic impacts and recovery time from the estimated declines. Alongside the figures was an evaluation of the results, explaining in simple terms what this may mean for the Gloucestershire economy.
The report helped GFirst gain a greater understanding of Covid-19’s varying economic impacts across Gloucestershire, which informed their thinking on possible interventions and business and local authorities’’ recovery planning processes.