TELFORD, England, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- BAE Systems said Thursday it was transferring its military bridging unit from Wolverhampton to Telford.
The company said in a statement that it was "set to move its Wolverhampton-based Bridging business to its Telford site as part of the on-going transformation of its Land Systems business."
"The move, which will involve a total of 54 employees, is expected to be completed by mid-2009," BAE Systems said.
"The decision to transfer Bridging follows a review by BAE Systems aimed at establishing a long-term sustainable military bridging capability with strong growth prospects," the company said.
"The 23-mile move to Telford, which already houses some key support work for the current British Army fleet, will be accompanied by an £8 million investment, which includes the refurbishment of the manufacturing areas, building a new office complex and upgrading all facilities, to greatly enhance the working environment," it said.
BAE Systems said the move would give it the opportunity to "further develop Telford as the Support Program's center of excellence for the light to medium vehicle fleet, a vital element of the British Army capability."
"All of the current roles performed at Wolverhampton will transfer and, following consultation, the company is planning for all current employees to transfer their place of work to Telford, avoiding any redundancies and ensuring that current skills are maintained," the company said.
Andrew Davies, managing director of BAE Systems Land Systems, said: "This decision, while potentially unsettling for the employees involved, is an essential part of the transformation of our Land Systems business. We are investing more than £8 million in this part of the transformation, which will consolidate our bridging work into Telford to create a center of excellence for aluminum fabrication and military bridging systems.
“It is just one of the hard decisions we are making in response to the Defense Industrial Strategy to create a more efficient business out of the legacy we inherited for the benefit of the armed forces, national security, the (British) taxpayer and our shareholders,” Davies said.