Leicester

BAE Systems to close tank factory in Leicester in May

FRES Piranha
Image caption The contract has been awarded to US firm General Dynamics

A tank factory in Leicester will close at the end of May with the loss of the remaining 70 jobs at the site.

The BAE Systems factory on Scudamore Road announced in 2010 that it would shut the plant due to lack of orders.

The firm originally employed 260 workers at its weapons systems operation in Braunstone Frith, which opened in 1959.

A BAE spokesman said the site will close at the end of May as part of closure plans announced in July 2010.

The firm blamed the closure on an economic slowdown and cuts in government spending on military equipment which meant the factory was unable to secure other work.

The plant spent five years developing weapons systems for new tanks known as Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) vehicles, but the government awarded the contract to US rival General Dynamics.

About 70 workers have relocated to a BAE factory in Telford, Shropshire and some had found jobs at other high-tech firms.

The site was initially used for work on naval radar systems.

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