PENDLE borough has the third-highest proportion of employees on the government's furlough scheme in the UK.

It is sandwiched between three tourist destinations whose industry has been hard hit by coronavirus.

Pendle Council’s deputy leader Cllr David Whipp said the borough’s high dependency on manufacturing was the most likely reason.

New government figures show that 14,000 out of its 38,000 workers (39 per cent) are on the furlough scheme, where the government pays their wages to avoid their employers making them redundant.

The national average for local authorities is 31 per cent.

Only two Lake District council areas - South Lakeland at 40 per cent and Eden at 39 - have a higher proportion of furloughed workers. Just behind Pendle is Yorkshire seaside resort Scarborough, at 37 per cent.

Cllr Whipp said: “I suspect the high number of jobs in manufacturing firms in Pendle is the most likely reason for this figure,

“It is good that local engineering and other manufacturing firms furloughed their workers rather than made them redundant. But we are now seeing companies shedding workers as the scheme winds down."