Threat to 2,000 Ministry of Defence jobs at Abbey Wood

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed as many as 2,000 jobs could be lost at its Abbey Wood centre near Bristol.

It is home to more than 8,000 of the ministry's Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) staff.

The chief operating officer, Dr Andrew Tyler, said: "We, as with the rest of the public sector, are on a quest for great efficiency."

The cuts are part of job losses set out in the strategic defence and security review last October.

It outlined plans to cut 25,000 civilian personnel by 2015.

"That is definitely going to require doing what we do today with less people," Dr Tyler said.

"The department has an overall challenge and I've got no doubt that DE&S will take a fair proportion of that challenge."

£39.5m saving

He said the cuts "could be as many as 2,000".

Dr Tyler said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had had a "reasonably healthy" take-up for offers of voluntary redundancy and said his own job would also go as part of the cutbacks.

The Abbey Wood site has seen significant expansion over the past two years.

Staff at the site buy and maintain equipment used by the British armed forces.

In 2010, it was announced that the Chinook Project Team and two other helicopter project teams would move there.

And in March, the MoD announced 1,400 staff from three establishments in Bath would move to Abbey Wood.

Sites at Ensleigh, Foxhill and Warminster Road would close in a bid to save it £39.5m over the next 15 years.

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