Manchester

David Cameron promises help over Nimrod axe

The Nimrod MR2 has been taken out of service
Image caption Two Nimrods were built and will not enter service

The prime minister has promised to do all he can to help workers facing redundancy at BAE Systems in Cheshire.

The Woodford site was due to shut in 2012. It is now expected to close earlier after the government scrapped plans to build new Nimrod planes.

Up to 500 employees could lose their jobs, with a further 500 contractors also expected to be affected.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron said: "We should make sure we help those people find jobs."

David Rutley, Conservative MP for Macclesfield, had said it was important that the "dedicated and highly skilled staff" receive all "possible support for re-training and redeployment".

The government revealed the scheme was to be scrapped during the Defence Review announcement last week.

Mr Cameron said the replacement Nimrod MRA4 reconnaissance planes project had cost more than £3bn and was more than eight years late.

The contract was signed in 1996 for a total of 21 planes. This number was reduced to 12 and then later, nine. Two aircraft have actually been built and these will not be put into service.

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