Over 1,300 UK jobs at risk as HS2 train supplier Alstom begins layoffs

More than 1,300 workers are at risk of losing their jobs at the UK’s largest rail assembly factory in Derby, it was revealed today.

The French train giant Alstom is consulting on potential job cuts at its Litchurch Lane rolling stock factory, which has no confirmed work beyond the first quarter of 2024.

A slowdown in new rolling stock orders from the government, coupled with the decision to axe parts HS2 has left the company in turmoil.

Some 550 permanent Alstom employees are set to face redundancy, while 780 contractors are also potentially at risk.

A spokesperson for Alstom said today that “no committed way forward has yet been found and therefore it is with deep regret that we must now begin to plan for a significant reduction in activity at Derby.”

“The UK remains one of Alstom’s most important global markets and we will continue to operate 36 sites throughout the country across our Rolling Stock, Services, and Digital and Integrated Systems businesses.”

The spokesperson added: “We look forward to fulfilling our commitments on HS2 and successfully competing for rolling stock opportunities across the UK in the future.

“We remain open-minded as to the future of non-production functions located at Litchurch Lane and to potential future alternative uses for the Derby site. We will begin an extensive review of options, and will fully involve our stakeholders in this process.”

The announcement came as the Paris-headquartered firm announced widespread global job losses and asset sales, as it struggles under a €3.4bn (£2.9bn) debt pile.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Rail manufacturing is an important part of the UK economy and we will work closely with Alstom as it continues to deliver its contractual commitments, as we do with all rolling stock manufacturers.

“While this is a commercial matter for the company, we have already set up a dedicated cross-government taskforce to properly support workers at Alstom during what will be a concerning time.”