A MANUFACTURING firm has confirmed it will be closing its 150-year-old factory in Colchester, leading to the loss of as many as 80 jobs.

Engine producer MAN Energy Solutions will close its facility off Hythe Hill in the coming months following a consultation with staff.

Formerly Paxman Diesels, work has been undertaken at the site for more than 150 years and inspired the name of new school Paxman Academy.

Its famous ship engines had been exported all over the world, but bosses say the "deteriorating economic outlook" caused by coronavirus has forced their hands.

Read more >>> Paxman factory in Colchester set to close after 150 years

The closure was first proposed in July and discussions have been ongoing between staff, company bosses and union representatives ever since.

Read more >>> Closing Paxman factory is huge part of history of Colchester

The German firm said no alternative solutions were found during these discussions to operate a viable business at the site.

Jan Zebitz-Thomsen, managing director of MAN Energy Solutions in the UK, said: "Since July, we have consulted with union and non-union representatives, and have explored all possible alternatives to the proposed site closure, including potential cost-cutting measures, in an attempt to avoid redundancies.

"We are grateful for the efforts made by all involved in the consultation process to date.

"The company had no realistic alternative but to proceed to close the Colchester site. As a result, redundancies will become necessary.”

As many as 80 jobs are set to be lost, however the firm says it will focus on bringing this number as low as possible. No date for the factory to close has been announced.

Colchester Labour Group had campaigned for the Government to step in to save the factory, which produced the VP185 for the British Navy.

Councillors set up a petition, which gained almost 600 signatures, and put forward a motion to Colchester Council asking Colchester MP Will Quince to lobby the Ministry of Defence and Department of Transport on the closure.

Read more >>> Councillors to debate motion calling for action on Paxman factory