Rolls-Royce to ‘significantly reduce’ activity at UK sites

Rolls-Royce has announced it is to “significantly reduce” activity at its Derby aero engine manufacturing site due to coronavirus.

Up until now, the engineering giant has been managing to maintain production at its civil aerospace site at Sinfin by following government guidance.

However, the firm has now said that “all but essential activity” will take place at all of its civil aerospace facilities, including Derby.

Initially, this will be for one week, starting from midnight tonight. The firm has said staff will continue to be paid.

Derby is also home to a Rolls-Royce Defence site, in Raynesway, which makes reactor cores for Royal Navy nuclear submarines.

Rolls-Royce’s Derby site makes reactor cores for Royal Navy submarines
(Image: Ministry of Defence)

The firm has said that this site, along with other Defence locations, will remain operational, as they supply to the military, which is being called upon to help with the relief effort.

In its statement, Rolls-Royce said: “Our priority since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak has been to ensure the well-being of all our employees.

“We have been actively implementing government guidelines throughout our global facilities, particularly those relating to social distancing, including in the UK where our manufacturing sites have to date remained fully operational.

“We have now decided to significantly reduce all but essential activity within our UK Civil Aerospace facilities for one week from midnight on 27 March.

“Our colleagues will continue to be paid. This move will enable us to confirm the effectiveness of the measures taken to date and enhance our processes in order to sustain modified operations and activities over a longer period.

“This will allow us to focus on supporting customers and vital services, including air freight operations, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“During this time, we will continue to maintain our critical capability that ensures airlines can continue to operate.

“The UK Government has designated Rolls-Royce as a key supplier for the UK military and therefore we plan for our Defence facilities in the UK to remain operational.

“We will continue to supply and support the engines that power military aircraft, naval vessels and other vehicles, many of which are being called upon to assist the relief effort, while observing all government health and safety guidance.”

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