BAE Systems to close Lochside facility

BAE Systems announced today that it will close its facility at Lochside, Edinburgh, in 2006, with the potential loss of up to 260 jobs.

According to a statement, the decision to close the engineering and product development facility is driven by a defence market environment that provides fewer opportunities for the large, customer-funded development projects that have historically sustained the business.

Work currently performed at Lochside will transfer to the BAE Systems Avionic Systems headquarter site at Rochester, Kent.

“The defence markets we serve are changing rapidly and we have responded to these changes by strengthening our business-winning capabilities by investing in new products and continuing to reduce our costs,” said Mike Austill, managing director of BAE Systems Avionic Systems.

“However, feedback to date in the marketplace indicates that our strategy is not materialising at the pace that we had previously forecast. We now recognise that we must further reduce our costs to make our offerings more competitive,“ added Austill.

The company today notified the Department of Trade and Industry of the proposed workforce reduction. It is anticipated that employees will leave the business from mid-February through late June next year, following the completion of the consultation process with employee representatives. A small number of opportunities will exist for Lochside employees to transfer to the Rochester site.