Darlington Labour Group Leader, Cllr Stephen Harker, has warned that Darlington businesses which follow the governments covid guidelines have been written off as “unviable” by the Chancellor as his new measures won’t work for some sectors.

The Chancellor’s replacement for furlough, the Job Support Scheme, is only open to those employers who offer their employees at least a third of their usual hours which is impossible for those industries still closed.

Cllr Harker has warned that this could affect over 1,200 workers in Darlington. The businesses and workers in Darlington Sunak has dismissed as “unviable” and dismissed to the scrap heap include:

  • The events industry – including 75 event caterers.
  • The creative, arts and entertainment sector including theatres and cinemas – still shut-down or operating at reduced capacity – employing 30 people.
  • The UK’s night life industry – including 100 people employed in nightclubs, and 600 people employed in pubs and bars. These businesses are either still shutdown or operating at much reduced capacity and now hit by a 10pm curfew.
  • The sports industry – including 150 working in local sports clubs.


Commenting Darlington Labour Group Leader Steve Harker said:

“The government’s Job Support Scheme is only open to those employers who offer their employees at least a third of their usual hours, this will be impossible for businesses in sectors which are still closed or under restrictions.

“Over 1,200 Darlington workers could miss out on the job support scheme. Businesses which are following the governments covid guidelines are unlikely to be able to offer all staff a third of their usual hours while they are working at a reduced capacity, reduced hours or are not yet allowed to reopen.

“I fear that the chancellors decision not to support these sectors will affect the high street for many years to come. I urge him to rethink for the sake of Darlington’s workers, business owners and high street.”


  • Employment and business figures are taken from ONS Nomis statistics 
Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search