BAE Systems Woodford plant closure to hit industrial market

Michael Hunt

Military defence organisation BAE Systems has announced it is closing its site on Chester Road in Woodford, Stockport.

As well as job losses, the decision is bound to have a significant impact on its local supply chain and industrial and office space in the area being taken.

The plant has concentrated on the refurbishment and revamp of the RAF's giant Nimrod MRA4 aircraft since the end of production of the RJX regional jet in 2001.

BAE Systems has reportedly said its union would lobby the Government to save the Woodford plant.

Despite the gloom, leader of Stockport Council, Cllr Dave Goddard, has acknowledged the contribution BAE Systems has made to the local economy.

He said: "BAE Systems have helped to put Stockport on the international map as an excellent location to do business, and we thank them for the role they have played for many years.

"The BAE Systems site itself is a significant future development opportunity, and work is underway to properly plan its future regeneration and development. The local and wider community, stakeholders and MPs will, of course, have every opportunity to be involved in this future planning."

Cllr Goddard also mentioned that the council and its business partners have been working closely on a strategy with the company to support employees as well as leaving the site and the borough with great opportunities to attract future investment.

He added: "Alongside our Stockport Boost campaign, we have already attracted millions of pounds of investment to the borough, which in turn has created over 700 new jobs over the last year. Stockport has many exciting projects on site including the £30m PCT hospital development, the £12m new civic building and the £100m new Stockport College, as well as the recently completed Grade A BAM Properties' office development on the A6."

BAE Systems has been manufacturing aircraft at the site in Woodford for over 100 years.

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