Further misery as hundreds more jobs axed in Anglia region

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray

Hundreds more jobs are set to be slashed in the Anglia region due to the impact of coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Norwich Theatre Royal confirmed it is axing three in four staff members, while high street staple Marks and Spencer has announced 7,000 further job losses across the country.

Meanwhile, EasyJet pulling out of Stansted and Southend airports has had a knock-on effect on service industries.

Stobart Group, which organises the check-in and baggage handling at Southend, says it is talking to staff about their futures.

Southend Airport has also started to consult with its staff.

Easyjet plane at Southend Airport Credit: ITV Anglia

It comes after the Office for National Statistics said there were 122,000 unemployed people in the East of England in the April to June period. It is the highest total in the region since January 2018.

In July, Norwich Theatre Royal announced that jobs were at risk - it's now been confirmed 165 people out of a total of 217 are to be axed.

Despite the theatre erecting an outdoor tent for summer performances, it has suffered huge financial losses because of its prolonged closure. There's still no date for when full-scale productions can return.

One employee made redundant on Friday told ITV Anglia: "I've been working at the theatre for 18 years, this certainly isn't how I expected it to end".

"I'm heartbroken for me and my colleagues, and everyone who loved the theatre".

Another said he had been struggling to work out how to financially support his newborn child.

"Fortunately I found other employment when I was worried about the future of the theatre", he said.

"However, I do have some friends who are struggling to find employment".

Stephen Crocker, CEO of Norwich Theatre Royal Credit: ITV Anglia

Chief Executive Stephen Crocker said the redundancies are a stark and sobering reminder of the devastating impact that the Covid-19 crisis has had on the sector.

Meanwhile, Marks and Spencers has joined the likes of Boots, Debenhams and John Lewis by announcing big redundancies over the next three months.

Most of the 7,000 job losses will impact the 60,000-strong shop floor workforce.

Despite sweeping redundancies across the region, holiday company Haven is to hire 500 people to support the increase in UK holidays.

Haven has parks in Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk and St Osyth near Clacton in Essex. The hope is there will be job opportunities at these parks.

The Linda McCartney factory in Fakenham, Norfolk, is also set to create jobs. As a result of increased demand for plant-based food, the vegetarian and vegan food brand want to hire 80 people.