Council ‘saddened’ by job cut threat at rail factory


A council leader has urged ministers to commit to the industrial sector after the UK’s largest rail assembly factory announced 1,330 jobs are at risk in Derby.

Manufacturing company Alstom said it had no confirmed workload for its Litchurch Lane site beyond the start of next year and no ‘committed way forward’ had been found after six months of government talks on the future of the rolling stock factory.

An artist's impression of an Alstom HS2 train

An Alstom spokesperson said: ‘It is with deep regret that we must now begin to plan for a significant reduction in activity at Derby by entering a period of collective consultation on potential redundancies at Litchurch Lane’.

The consultation will involve potential redundancies of 550 permanent Alstom employees and 780 contractors.

The spokesperson added: ‘We remain open-minded as to the future of non-production functions located at Litchurch Lane and to potential future alternative uses for the Derby site.’

Derby City Council leader Baggy Shanker said: ‘We're saddened to hear that a solution has not yet been possible.

‘Minsters really need to commit and focus on this vital industrial sector. To date I’m disappointed that no minister has agreed to speak to us on this matter.’

The union Unite has said the proposed job losses are a ‘direct result’ of the delay in the construction of HS2, with Alstom having secured the contract to build trains for the project but work not set to begin until 2026.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham added: ‘There is absolutely no justification for the proposed job losses.

‘It is madness that there is a huge amount of work that Alstom could and should be bidding for but the Government has not got around to tendering for it.’

The Department for Transport said it would ‘work closely with Alstom as it continues to deliver its contractual commitments’.

A spokesperson added: ‘While this is a commercial matter for the company, we have already set up a dedicated cross-government taskforce to properly support workers at Alstom during what will be a concerning time.’

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