We have moved to a new phase in responding to the coronavirus pandemic over recent weeks. I am very grateful for local teachers’ hard work that’s been vital in enabling pupils to safely return to school. The thorough planning that made this possible has been evident in my conversations with local head teachers and during my recent visit to Dean Valley Primary School.
Our much-valued doctors and nurses continue their vital work in responding to coronavirus. I am pleased Macclesfield Hospital has received an extra £2.2 million for a new same day emergency care unit to streamline care and help infection control while social distancing measures are in place. We all need to continue playing our part in keeping the reproduction rate down, as is clear from the latest move to limit social gatherings to six people.
More people are returning to their workplace, which helps other businesses that depend on this increase in footfall. The Government has played an important role in supporting local businesses and workers. In Macclesfield, 12,600 workers have benefitted from being furloughed, while 3,300 received assistance from the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, and 1,613 local businesses received Bounce Back Loan offers.
I have been actively working with local retail and hospitality businesses. Many received cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000, and the Eat Out To Help Out scheme helped build confidence for more people to spend time out of their homes, with 78,000 discounted meals across the constituency.
There’s clearly more to do in taking forward economic recovery plans. I will continue to work with local partners to help deliver the new Kickstart scheme which provides employment opportunities for 18-24 year olds and to increase the number of apprenticeships. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you or your family.