Leading Pendle councillors react as 'devastating' Rolls-Royce news sends shockwaves through borough

Leading Pendle councillors have spoken of their disappointment over plans for further redundancies at Rolls-Royce – but have vowed to help lessen the impact.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 10:59 am
Updated Thursday, 27th August 2020, 11:20 am
Rolls Royce, Barnoldswick

The company plans to reduce activities at its Bankfield site in the town from autumn 2023 and is looking into combining its Ghyll Brow site in Barnoldswick into the Bankfield site.

The proposals will impact approximately 350 employees.

Leader of Pendle Council Coun. Mohammed Iqbal said: “This is a blow for people in Pendle and we are very disappointed to get this news.

“We will work with Rolls-Royce and other agencies, including the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, to lessen the impact of redundancies.

“We know this is a very worrying time for people working for Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick and that the company is supporting employees and their families.

“We understand that Covid-19 has dealt a blow to aviation and aerospace industries."

Deputy leader Coun. David Whipp, who represents Barnoldswick on Pendle Council, said: “This is devastating news from Rolls-Royce.

“My heart goes out to all the people and their families affected by this decision.

“My brother Keith worked at Rolls-Royce his entire life and the same is true for many others in our town.

“The shockwave will spread far and wide, but will be felt most acutely in Barnoldswick.

“Barnoldswick has been a Rolls-Royce company town for 75 years. The Whittle jet engine was developed in Barnoldswick during WW2.

“Since July I have been leading a campaign to keep Rolls-Royce in the town.

“The firm is not only a high profile employer, but Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick is also vital to the whole aerospace supply chain in East Lancashire.

“We will do all we can to help and to reduce the impact on our town, Pendle, the wider area and the aerospace economy which is so important to us.

Pendle’s Mayor, Coun. Ken Hartley, said: “This is a particularly sad day for Pendle and also personally for me.

“In a few days’ time it will be the 60th anniversary of my first day at work as a Rolls-Royce apprentice.

“I proudly walked over the threshold of Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick to begin a lifelong career as an Aerospace Engineer.

"Over those 60 years Rolls-Royce has become the world leader in engine technology.

“The unique high skills of the local workers – not only in the Rolls Royce factories – but also in the extensive sub-contract network companies, are the basis of that success."