Relief as engineering jobs are kept in city

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ENGINEERING jobs in Portsmouth have been saved after Rolls-Royce Marine decided not to leave the city.

Earlier this year, The News reported 33 jobs were at risk after the company decided to cease operations at its factory in North Harbour.

Now, the company says 24 people will leave the company by the end of the year, but highly skilled engineering roles have been saved.

The firm has opened a plant at Broad Oak in Hilsea.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman said: ‘As announced to employees earlier this year, we plan to cease operations at our Portsmouth facility.

‘Our North Harbour Road facility is due to close by the end of the year, upon completion of final contracts for our customers.

Around 40 of our employees have already relocated to another office facility in the city.

‘It has not been an easy year for our employees in Portsmouth, but we would like to thank them for the great determination they have shown to complete all outstanding work on time, and to the same high quality standards for which they are renowned.’

Engineers were told earlier in the year that they may have to move to Bristol. However, that is now not the case.

John Ferrett, negotiator with the Prospect union and Labour group leader on Portsmouth City Council, said the news had been welcomed by the union and its members.

He said: ‘It is disappointing that there will be some redundancies.

‘As I understand it, those people are on the production side, but there is good news for the engineers – the people who design and plan the operation. It has kept skilled work in the city.

‘The initial plan was to move the whole thing from Cosham to Bristol. From our own research, no-one was in a position to move to Bristol and the company would have lost those skilled people.

‘We think this is a really positive move for Portsmouth and we have not lost skilled engineers from the city.’