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Two Norfolk resort towns among England’s worst hit by lockdown

PUBLISHED: 15:34 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:38 22 April 2020

Quiet streets in Cromer during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Quiet streets in Cromer during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Cromer and Sheringham are among the worst hit towns in the country when it comes to visitor spending during the coronavirus outbreak.

Combined together, the towns have seen the 11th biggest spending fall out of 82 smaller local economies. The total spend in Cromer and Sheringham in the first week of April was down 53pc on the same time last year and non-grocery shopping dropped by 75pc.

The figures were compiled by Tortoise Media with every town in England and Wales being ranked by the change they have seen in spending.

However, Sam Grout, president of Cromer Chamber of Trade, is confident that businesses will be able to bounce back.

He said: “A lot of people have had to adapt, with businesses seeing a huge increase in the demand for deliveries during the outbreak. Since then, there’s been the challenge of social distancing, with customers having to be two metres apart.

President of Cromer's Chamber of Trade, Sam Grout, outside his cafe The Old Rock Shop Bistro. Photo: Chris TaylorPresident of Cromer's Chamber of Trade, Sam Grout, outside his cafe The Old Rock Shop Bistro. Photo: Chris Taylor

“I would say about 80pc of Cromer’s businesses are shut with a lot of traders closing before they were told to by the government.

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“But, from the conversations we have with businesses, the morale is high, and we have not heard of any businesses facing closure.

“Cromer residents are fiercely loyal and I’m confident that businesses will bounce back when this is all over.”

Sheringham in lockdown over the Easter weekend, Pictures: Vanessa ConnollySheringham in lockdown over the Easter weekend, Pictures: Vanessa Connolly

MORE: Coronavirus: How one fish and chip shop is coping with lockdown

Elsewhere, the figures showed that Norwich has also taken a massive hit. Total spending there has fallen by 32pc on last year and non-grocery shopping by 43pc.

Figures show that small places with a high dependence on tourism have taken the biggest hits.

Excluding grocery spending, Penrith in Cumbria has seen an 82pc fall and Penzance, in Cornwall, has seen an 85pc drop.

The survey also found that pretty university towns and cities have been hit hard, losing both students and tourists. Oxford and Bath saw massive spending falls of more than 60pc, and the big cities have all suffered, but with differences. Leeds, Cardiff and Liverpool are down more than 30pc, but have done better so far than Sheffield, down 48pc, and Nottingham, down 55pc. London has fared slightly better. The capital is down by 29pc overall.


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