COLCHESTER'S MP has promised he is ready to do everything he can to try and save the town's iconic Paxman factory... but fears nothing he can do will make a difference.

Germany firm MAN Energy Solutions announced in July it was set to consult on plans to close the Hythe Hill facility, leading to the loss of up to 80 jobs and the firm's 155 year presence in Colchester.

The decision has been met with outcry by residents and councillors, with Colchester Labour Group setting up a petition calling for the Government to step in and do all it can to save the factory.

Read more >>> Campaign to save Paxman factory in Colchester from closure

Colchester MP Will Quince says he had a virtual meeting with bosses after the plan to close the factory was announced.

He said: "I wrote to the company in Germany when the decision was announced and I had a virtual meeting with them shortly after.

"I was quite blunt and asked if there was anything I or the Government could do which would lead to a different outcome or avoid the consultation taking place.

"They were quite honest and said there was a multitude of reasons behind the move and they did not believe any action I could take at this stage would have a positive influence."

Mr Quince described the potential closure of the factory as a "huge tragedy" for the town, particularly the dozens of residents who would lose their jobs if the closure happens before the end of the year.

"It would be a huge blow to Colchester if it closed," he said.

"Firstly for the employees affected who would lose their jobs of course but also because of the historical links of the company and the VP185 engine to Colchester."

The MP admitted the Government decision to award a lucrative engine contract to Rolls Royce last year had probably had an impact on the firm's decision.

Mr Quince said: "There are some decisions made by the Government in the past which I find regrettable, such as when there was a big MoD contract up for grabs which went to Rolls Royce rather than MAN Energy Solutions.

"I have no doubt that would have played a part in their decision to consult on closing the Colchester site, as well as things like coronavirus and Brexit.

"But we must really worry about what we can do in the here and now. I am very happy to work with the Labour Group and other going forward on this.

"If there is more I can do then I stand ready to do it."

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