LABOUR is calling on the government to step up help for the North West’s automotive industry.

It says 23,000 jobs in the region are involved in making cars or in its supply chain.

These include 1,500 in the Ribble Valley and 900 in Burnley.

The automotive sector has been one of the worst affected by coronavirus, with production down by 99.7 per cent in April according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Nelson East’s Cllr Azhar Ali, leader of the Lancashire County Council Labour Group, said: “We saw analysis last week showing that Lancashire would be hit hard by job losses in retail and manufacturing and here is further evidence that the North West is in the midst of a jobs crisis.

“Just this week Rolls Royce announced a further 350 jobs in Barnoldswick are under threat which means even more job losses in the local supply chain.

"This is a very real and urgent issue for people in Lancashire.

“We urgently need targeted support for manufacturing industries or places like Burnley which are going to see a huge loss of high-skilled jobs that it will be impossible to replace.

"This could be devastating for Lancashire and we need action from government now,” he added.