Victrex prepares for two years of reduced production

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Thornton Cleveleys-based polymers firm Victrex is predicting two years of significantly reduced demand from sectors such as aerospace, automotive and energy as a result of COVID-19.

The company announced that it is to cut around 100 jobs from its global operation, 78 of which will be lost from its Lancashire base, to ensure its long-term survival.

Andrew Hanson, Victrex's director of investor relations and corporate communications, said: "Like many companies, Victrex has started to see the impact from COVID-19 in its trading performance. Many of our key markets are currently seeing reductions of around 40% in terms of volume or revenue.

"We therefore have to take further action now to remain a viable and sustainable business for the future, in order to support our customers, and to support our profitability in a lower production environment."

The Lancashire job losses will include agency workers and contractors. Victrex has offered voluntary redundancy as an option but it is likely that compulsory redundancies will also be required. Front-line and production teams will be most affected, plus some support staff. 

Andrew added: "Whilst the news is regrettable, we want to ensure that we remain a viable and sustainable business both for the short and longer term, and can continue to invest to support our customers over the coming years."

The job losses are not the first in Lancashire that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit two of the county's major industries, tourism and aerospace, particularly hard.

Workers union Unite has warned that 'thousands' of jobs connected to the aerospace sector are at risk, while Miranda Barker, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, has called on the government to support the county. 

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