Derby’s Coronavirus Economic Recovery Task Force and Derby City Council are to seek talks with Rolls-Royce as the company deals with the impact of global lockdowns on the aviation sector.
The task force will hold discussions with the Government to understand what help it can offer, as the aerospace giant attempts to mitigate major reductions in its revenues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rolls-Royce has taken swift action to increase liquidity and dramatically reduce spending but have since suggested they may need to take further measures, such as reducing their international workforce – including at their Derby headquarters.
The company is working with employee and union representatives and has promised to update their staff before the end of the month.
The company is Derby’s largest private sector employer and its civil aerospace division is headquartered in Sinfin.
The Economic Recovery Task Force was formed last week to plan for the impacts of the pandemic on city businesses, offer practical short-term assistance wherever possible and draw up a longer-term plan to ensure Derby emerges from the crisis in as strong a position as possible.
The task force is chaired by Derby City Council’s Chief Executive, Paul Simpson, who said it was vital that steps were taken to support Rolls-Royce, its employees and the wider aerospace supply chain.
“Rolls-Royce and the aviation industry as a whole are extremely important not just on a local level, but nationally.
“We will be seeking urgent talks with Rolls-Royce to understand what the city can do to support them. We’ll also be looking at what help might be available for the aerospace supply chain, which also plays such an important role in Derby’s economy.”
Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council said he would be contacting Government ministers to understand how they might also assist.
“The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns to safeguard public health – necessary as they have been – have had a huge effect on many sectors, but we know aerospace has been amongst those worst hit.
“A large part of Rolls-Royces’ revenue depends upon the maintenance of aircraft engines, but with the number of flights being so low internationally, the work simply isn’t there.
“It is vital that Derby – and the UK as a whole – stands with Rolls-Royce, its workers and others in the sector at this challenging time.”