PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson has pledged to step up his fight to save jobs at Rolls-Royce’s Barnoldswick plants.

He raised his concerns over 146 jobs losses at the aerospace firm with a government minister at Westminster.

He told Commons Deputy Leader Tom Brake in a special debate: “Sadly, all is not well with Pendle’s largest employer, Rolls-Royce, which has sites at Bankfield and Ghyll Brow in Barnoldswick and currently employs more than 1,000 people.

"Worryingly, under the last government Rolls-Royce opened a new factory in Singapore to manufacture civil wide-chord fan blades, the same process undertaken in Barnoldswick, as the company opted to invest abroad rather than in the UK.

“Last week we had confirmation total job losses would be 146. Those job losses will be phased in between now and the end of the year.

“The number of job losses is deeply regrettable when that flagship British company is growing and winning new orders across the globe. I am going to continue to make the case for investment and job creation in Barnoldswick."

The total number of workers to be axed is146, with the final figure 24 higher than the 122 mooted in March.

Fifty-six agency workers on site will be released from their contracts, leaving 90 remaining roles to be cut.

To mitigate the number of compulsory redundancies, work is being done to ask some employees to consider voluntary severance packages.

Union works convenor at the plant, Jon Brough, said: “ The decision to invest abroad has led to lower levels of employment at Barnoldswick, although I believe there would still have been jobs lost. I hope Andrew will gain support from the government to bring investment to the area.”

A Rolls-Royce spokesman said: “We react to changing demands from our customers and this has led to a reduced workload at Barnoldswick.”