Rolls Royce puts 350 Lancashire jobs under threat
Lancashire's crucial aerospace industry has been dealt a blow after Rolls Royce confirmed it was to cut jobs.
The firm which makes engine parts for the aviation industry said it is looking to shed jobs and merge its two factories in Barnoldswick into one.
It said the move was triggered by the huge downturn in the commercial aviation market caused by travel restrictions and worries triggered by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Rolls Royce wants to end the production at its Bankfield Site of wide chord fan blades for its newer Trent engines by Autumn 2023.
However, it said a technical support centre and new product development hub will remain, as well as manufacture of blades for older engine types.
It added that it was also looking at options to consolidate its Ghyll Brow site into Bankfield, and its Static Compressor Assembly Modules plant located at Bankfield also remains under review.
The decision affects 350 staff working on the fan blades, but it follows an announcement of 200 job losses made by Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick in June.
It would mean that the remaining work at the site would include the Static Compressor Assembly Modules work, although this could also go; fan blades for its Trent 700 engine and some defence aircraft; plus a product development and technical support centre.
A spokesman said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has created a historic shock in civil aviation which will take several years to recover. Demand for our Civil Aerospace products and services has fallen significantly and we’ve had to take difficult, but necessary decisions to position ourselves for the future.
“Today we have told our employees in Barnoldswick that we are proposing to reduce our activities at Bankfield, which will no longer manufacture wide chord fan blades for our newer Trent engines, although a technical support centre and new product development hub will remain.
"We are also exploring options to consolidate work at Ghyll Brow into Bankfield. We are now consulting with trade unions and employee representatives.
“Today’s news will understandably be very worrying for everyone working in Barnoldswick, and our number one priority is to provide support to our employees and their families.”