Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson announced that it intends to withdraw from Ansty Park, near Coventry, UK next year, with the potential loss of around 700 jobs.
According to an official statement, the action is part of the company’s ongoing global cost reduction activities.
The Coventry based employees handle global R&D for part of Ericsson’s network infrastructure portfolio and the global service delivery center provides services across a number of products.
Ericsson will move R&D of current products and global services, currently based in Coventry, to countries where there are already significant scale and product synergies while new product R&D is planned to move to lower cost-base countries.
Commenting on the announcement, Mats Granryd, Head of Market Unit North Western Europe at Ericsson, said: “These proposals represent sad news we have for our employees in Ansty Park, Coventry”.
“We have to work continuously to increase efficiency and lower our cost base whilst ensuring we deliver solutions designed to meet our global customers’ needs”, he added.
Ericsson will now enter into consultation with both union and employees representatives.
This news represents a real shock to the region, said Mick Laverty, CEO of Regional Development Agency Advantage West Midlands.
“These are just the sort of high quality jobs the West Midlands can ill afford to lose”, he said.
“Today’s announcement is a shock to the region and a sad day for the workforce at Ericsson. Our number one priority now is to get partners together as soon as possible to minimise the economic impact of today’s news on Coventry and the wider region”.
Under this point of view, the £40m Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), to be built at Ansty Park, will represent a significative support. The project already received public funding approval from Government.
According to Mr Laverty, “The MTC will play a vital role in supporting UK manufacturing companies, and their supply chains, to bring about major improvements in their manufacturing competitiveness”.
The MTC has the backing of some of the UK’s major global manufacturers and will support UK manufacturing companies. Founder industrial members include Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Aero Engine Controls and Airbus UK.
Research partners include the University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and TWI Ltd, the operating division of The Welding Institute.