A TOTAL of 16,100 workers were furloughed in East Ayrshire up until the end of June, according to new figures.

Around 31 per cent of eligible jobs in the area were furloughed, statistics released by the UK Government show.

Across Ayrshire, a total of 47,100 roles were furloughed under the job retention scheme, which has seen people get paid 80 per cent of their wages during the pandemic.

Cllr Tom Cook (Conservative), said: “Thanks to the UK Government, the furlough scheme has saved thousands of jobs in East Ayrshire. It has given companies breathing space to build their companies back up again. It has been a great scheme.

“Now we encourage people to get out and support businesses by going into shops, hotels and restaurants.”

Up until the end of last month, 3,700 claims worth £10.8 million were made for the self-employment income support scheme in East Ayrshire. 

Scottish secretary Alister Jack MP said: “The UK Government has supported almost 900,000 jobs in Scotland so far through our unprecedented package of UK-wide coronavirus assistance.”