North­ern Scot­land pro­tec­tion call over Rolls-Royce job cuts

Dormice can sleep it off in safety Fears for work­ers at Vul­can and at RAF base

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY CALUM ROSS

Plans by Rolls-Royce to cut 4,600 jobs over the next few years have sparked calls to pro­tect posts at the en­gi­neer­ing firm’s bases in north­ern Scot­land.

The com­pany op­er­ates the Vul­can nu­clear sub­ma­rine test­ing fa­cil­ity in Caith­ness and also has a main­te­nance base at RAF Lossiemouth in Mo­ray.

Caith­ness, Suther­land and Ross MSP Gail Ross last night wrote to UK Busi­ness Sec­re­tary Greg Clark urg­ing him to en­sure the Vul­can site is pro­tected.

“I write to­day to make clear that this em­ployer is ab­so­lutely vi­tal to the lo­cal econ­omy here in Caith­ness and north Suther­land and any job losses could have a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic im­pact on the so­cio-eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity of this area,” she said.

Vul­can has been a Min­istry of De­fence fa­cil­ity for test­ing new mod­els of nu­clear sub­ma­rine re­ac­tors since the 1950s. In 2015 there were about 260 Roll­sRoyce staff and con­trac­tors at the site, which is next to the nu­clear power com­plex Doun­reay.

In that year the re­ac­tor was safely closed down – mark­ing the start of a ma­jor op­er­a­tion to clean up the site.

Mean­while, a new £4.5mil­lion main­te­nance fa­cil­ity was opened last year at RAF Lossiemouth, with to­tal of 10 en­gi­neers work­ing with the air force to on the site’s Ty­phoon fast jets.

Rolls-Royce said the com­pany was re­fo­cus­ing its busi­ness on civil aero­space, de­fence and power sys­tems, with mid­dle man­agers and back-of­fice staff ex­pected to bear the brunt of the cuts.

Mr Clark told MPs yes­ter­day that “most” of the UK job losses would be at the com­pany’s head­quar­ters in Derby.

“As the com­pany’s main man­age­ment base is in Derby, it has said that is where the big­gest re­duc­tion will be felt,” he said.

“Although the com­pany will em­bark on a statu­tory con­sul­ta­tion with both the staff and the unions, it is ob­vi­ous that the news will come as a blow to the work­force and that this is a very wor­ry­ing time for the ded­i­cated and tal­ented em­ploy­ees who did noth­ing to bring it on them­selves, but who will be af­fected.”

“A sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on area’s so­cio-eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity”

Ap­peal: Greg Clark

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