The Essex Chamber of Commerce has said the Government needs to move away from the idea that everything in the South East is “rosy” when it comes to investment.

The chamber’s policy director David Birch said they want to see more investment in parts of Essex after Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned of the economic impact of coronavirus.

Official forecasts showed the UK economy was expected to shrink by 11.3 per cent this year, the worst recession for more than 300 years.

The Chancellor told MPs the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) did not expect the economy to return to its pre-crisis levels until the end of 2022 and the damage was likely to last.

Mr Sunak said: “Our health emergency is not yet over. And our economic emergency has only just begun.

“So our immediate priority is to protect people’s lives and livelihoods.”

The OBR forecasts show a recovery is expected over the coming years, with growth of 5.5 per cent forecast next year as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Mr Birch said there were concerns the announcement places a heavy focus on the Midlands and north of the country.

He said: “What we want to see is the Government do as much as they can to ensure that the economy is stimulated.

“The idea of the national infrastructure bank is welcome, but what we find worrying in a lot of the talk in infrastructure investment is this focus on levelling up the economy and investing in the Midlands and north of the country.

“We understand that the investment is needed in those areas, but there is still parts of Essex that need investment as well, we have got issues with our own infrastructure in the county.

“Government needs to get away from thinking that everything in the South East is rosy and it is not.

“There are areas that need investment and need Government money put in to them and that is only going to be made worse by the aftermath of the pandemic.”