British aerospace engineering firm Rolls-Royce has faced flak for saying it was considering building a new hi-tech facility overseas rather than in the UK.
According to the Observer, the company told workers it was looking at the feasibility of putting up an aircraft engine testing plant in Germany or the US instead of at its base in Derby in the UK.
This came as another blow for Derby on top of train maker Bombaridier's decision to cut 1,400 jobs in the city following the government's announcement that it would award a £1.4 billion contract to Siemens of Germany.
According to Adrian Axtell, Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands, the development had potentially long-term implications for Derby's manufacturing base.
Work followed the experimental test-beds and a significant number of jobs in Derby were linked to development projects, he added.
He added that Rolls-Royce, with the support of the government, needed to do everything possible to maintain its development projects in Derby in the long term.
According to one trade union source, the announcement hit staff "like a ton of bricks" and exacerbated concerns about the future of manufacturing in the city in the wake of the Bombardier announcement.
Axtell, who represents about half of Rolls Royce's 11,000-strong workforce in the city, said, the uncertainties arising from Rolls-Royce's plans went to show why the government needed to support Bombardier when it could instead of allowing the work to go to Germany.