1. ITV Report

BAE Systems expected to cut 1,000 Lancashire jobs

BAE Systems is expected cut 1,000 jobs in Lancashire. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

The Government is being urged to help save jobs at defence giant BAE Systems, which is expected to axe more than 1,000 jobs in Lancashire.

The jobs are expected to be cut from the Warton and Samlesbury sites where the Eurofighter Typhoon jet is made. The workforce at other locations could also be reduced.

The firm currently employs nearly 35,000 people in Britain.

Labour described the news as "devastating", while unions were seeking information, having been braced for cuts because of a lack of future work.

The announcement is expected in the next few days.

  • Mark Hendrick MP, Preston:

BAE Systems continually reviews its operations to make sure we are performing as effectively and efficiently as possible, delivering our commitments to existing customers and ensuring we are best placed to secure future business. If and when there are any changes proposed we are committed to communicating with our employees and their representatives first.

– BAE Systems statement

Richard Halstead, Director of Member Engagement for EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation in the North West said: “If reports are true then it is a significant blow for the North West economy and the strategic supply chain across the region. The aerospace and defence sector is critical to manufacturing not just in the North West but across the UK.

“As such it is now vital that all parties work to implement some form of flexible working patterns to ensure these high value skills are protected until potential future orders come on stream.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: "I know this will be a deeply unsettling time for the workers at BAE and I am hoping the company is working to the same model as last time, when hundreds of redundancies were announced and in reality, very few people left the business as they were deployed on other projects.

"They will be looking at what other opportunities there are for these workers, such as on BAE's nuclear submarine and shipbuilding programmes.

"We also need to bear in mind that there are potentially lucrative contracts on the way from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others, which could help sustain these jobs.

"It is vital that the Typhoon production line be slowed down to prevent it from having to stop and be restarted in the future.

"I know everyone in Government will do all they can, from the Prime Minister down, to ensure these job losses are minimised, and further export orders are secured."

Nia Griffith, shadow defence secretary, said: "This is devastating news for the workers and their families. "The men and women who work on the Eurofighter are highly skilled and the potential loss of these jobs would have an appalling impact on them, the local economy and wider supply chains.

"The Government must come forward urgently with a clear plan to secure these jobs at BAE, as well as a proper defence industrial strategy to give the industry the certainty that it needs."

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a Westminster media briefing: "No announcement has been made from the company, so I think it would be wrong for me to pre-empt any announcement.

"What I would say is we do have a long track record of working with BAE Systems and its workers and we will continue to do so."