City’s show of support for Rolls-Royce
Leaders of Derby’s Coronavirus Economic Recovery Task Force and the city council are to seek talks with Rolls-Royce to try to assist the company as it deals with a huge slowdown in the aviation sector caused by global lockdowns.
The task force will also hold discussions with the Government to understand what help it can offer as the aerospace giant attempts to mitigate major reductions in its revenues because of the crisis.
National Press speculation has suggested that the company may be forced to consider significant reductions to its international workforce.
Rolls-Royce says it has taken swift action to increase liquidity and dramatically reduce spending but confirms that it will need to take further measures. It is working with employee and union representatives and has promised to update its 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 gather intelligence on 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 steering group is chaired by city council chief executive Paul Simpson. He said it was vital that steps were taken to support Rolls-Royce, its employees and the wider aerospace supply chain.
“The company and aviation more generally are strategically important to the UK. They have helped the country create jobs and export wealth and can do so again if they are assisted through this difficult period.
“We will be seeking urgent talks with Rolls-Royce senior management 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.”
Derby City Council leader Chris Poulter said he would be contacting government ministers to understand how they might also assist.
“The Coronavirus crisis and the resulting lockdowns to safeguard public health, necessary as they have been, have had a huge effect on many sectors of the economy but aerospace is amongst those worst hit.
“A large part of Rolls-Royce's revenue depends upon the maintenance of aircraft engines but if those aircraft are not flying the work simply isn’t there. There was nothing that the company could have done to plan for this eventuality.
“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.”
Rolls-Royce have taken action to increase liquidity and dramatically reduce spending due to the coronavirus.