COUNCILLORS are set to debate a motion calling for action to save one of Colchester’s most historic factories from closure.

Engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions announced in July it was to consult on plans to shut the factory before the end 2020, meaning the loss of up to 80 jobs and the end of the firm’s 155 year history in the town.

Ship engines had been exported all over the world, but bosses say the coronavirus crisis has led to the decision to close down.

A motion is set to go before members of Colchester Council asking MP Will Quince to lobby the Ministry of Defence and train companies.

The motion put forward by Labour councillor Lee Scordis said: “This council notes the sad news that Colchester’s historic Paxman factory is due to close as MAN Energy Solutions look to uproot to Stockport.

“This will lead to the end of the manufacture of Colchester’s historic diesel engine, which has previously been used by the Ministry of Defence and British train stock, until contracts were cancelled for cheaper models outside Britain.

“This council also calls on Will Quince MP to lobby the Ministry of Defence and train companies to look at providing contracts to Paxmans to keep this historic factory running and protect local jobs and manufacturing in Colchester.”

Last month the Colchester Labour Group set up a petition calling for Mr Quince to lobby for the Paxman facility, off Hythe Hill, to be saved.

It has so far been signed by 593.

Read more >>> 150 years of history at iconic Paxman factory as it faces end of an era

Conservative Group Leader Paul Dundas has put forward an amendment to the motion which will also be debated.

Mr Dundas is also asking for Mr Quince to lobby the Department of Transport to take advantage or new rules which may come into force with Britain leaves the EU.

He has called for the council to note its regret investment was note made by MAN to move towards manufacture of renewables.

Mr Dundas’s motion also outlines the preference for UK manufacturers is not possible under EU public procurement law.

Mr Quince had said he would attempt whatever he could to prevent the closure, but feared there was nothing he could do.


Jan Zebitz Thomsen, MAN Energy Solutions managing director in the UK, said: "Collective consultation with our employees is still ongoing. 

"As part of that process MAN Energy Solutions is discussing all alternatives to site closure and the company is committed to the dialogue being full, open and meaningful.

"Employee representatives are working very diligently with the company in reviewing all possible alternatives to closure.

"It is not possible to say how long the consultation will continue."