POLITICIANS have warned the Government of a "clear and unequal" impact on Bradford's industries as research shows 11,000 workers are at risk of unemployment due to the pandemic.

Professor Marc Cowling, University of Derby, and Professor Ross Brown, University of St. Andrews, examined the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on the 100 largest cities and towns in the UK.

The data shows that 1,353 businesses in Bradford are at immediate risk of failing as they run out of cash. This scale of business failures in Bradford would put 11,862 workers into unemployment with little chance of finding a new job.

Professor Cowling states that, "the immediate consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on the economies of our cities and towns will be extremely severe at a time when people are already struggling to make ends meet and pay their bills."

Professor Brown added: "Whilst the predicted job losses are spread widely across the UK, it is very apparent that the cities and towns outside of the wealthy South East of England will suffer more from business failure. This fact alone means that the levelling-up agenda just got a lot harder."

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the leader of Bradford Council, said this research is "broadly in line" with its own economic research into the impact of Covid-19.

The leader told the Telegraph & Argus: "Across West Yorkshire the economic projections show the worst case scenario could see 58,000 jobs lost next year and an unemployment rate of 14 per cent.

“The research highlights a clear and unequal impact on the North so we will work with the government and our partners to secure the investment to help us recover.

“However, let’s take heart from the fact that the Bradford district is a big, bold economic hub right in the heart of the North of England.

“We need to build on this, there are some signs that the district could more resilient than these figures suggest - the number of business creations since March puts Bradford in the top five per cent of local authorities in England.

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have worked incredibly hard to reduce the impacts of the virus on our residents and businesses."

The Council said it has paid out £124million to almost 11,000 businesses via Small Business and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business grants; a further £6.9million of Local Authority Discretionary Grant funds to 639 businesses and £4.2million for grants covering the national lockdown.

There is grave concern for Bradford across the political spectrum with Bradford West MP Naz Shah warning that Northern towns and cities are likely to "face the biggest brunt of this pandemic".

In October, Ms Shah had raised the issue as part of the Parliamentary debate on 'Covid-19 Economic Support Package'.

Speaking in Parliament, she said: "Bradford West needs more support. I urge the Chancellor to address that. I said this yesterday and I will say it again and again: Bradford West needs some targeted support not just for its businesses but if we are not to fail the next generation.”

Philip Davies MP (Shipley, Conservative) criticised the Government for "never ending lockdowns and restrictions", adding that it is "certainly a bizarre way of pursuing a levelling up agenda."

He added: "These arbitrary restrictions and lockdowns are having a desperate impact on the economy which will lead to huge numbers of business failures, job losses and - later down the line - home repossessions."

Judith Cummins (Bradford South, Labour) said: "Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic I have urged the Government to provide more support to businesses and workers in places like Bradford. We have seen that the effect of the pandemic and the local restrictions are not even across the country, and this report shows Bradford has been particularly hard hit.

"The Government must not allow the pandemic to widen the North-South divide. We need proper investment in jobs, skills and our local economy."