The UK government has made plans to launch four trade hubs in a bid to boost the economy post-Brexit and post-pandemic.

Secretary of state for international trade Liz Truss has announced plans to open hubs in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Darlington to help guide local businesses.

The hubs are intended to act as advisors to help businesses get back on their feet, giving localised advice from export and investment specialists.

The government said the hubs will offer support to help regional businesses access international markets and help boost the economy through creating new supporting jobs.

The hubs are expected to help businesses take advantage of the government’s new international trade agreements in a post-Brexit world, including deals with the US, Australia, New Zealand, India and Japan.

Truss said: “I’m determined to use UK trade policy to benefit every part of the UK. These trade and investment hubs will help this country to an export- and jobs-led recovery.

“They will mean we can channel investment into all corners of the country, and that exporters – whether they’re selling Scotch beef, Welsh Lamb or cars made in the North of England – have access to the expertise they need to sell into the fastest-growing markets.”

The plans come after businesses called for investment outside of London, but the chosen hub locations have been criticised for missing out where big industry manufacturers are in the North and the Midlands.