The eastern region, including Hertfordshire, could have lost the equivalent of £300million by the end of this year due to the foot and mouth outbreak, it has been announced.

The most significant impact on the region is being felt by its tourism industry, which could see a loss in spending of £450million in 2001, according to research by the East of England Development Agency. The agency says that around 7,600 jobs could also be affected. It has given the East of England Tourist Board an £100,000 grant for a training programme, to boost economic recovery following the outbreak.

There will be 11 courses aimed at helping the long-term future of small and medium sized businesses. For information on the courses, which begin in October, call Jenny Sheppard on 01473 825626.