FORTY-TWO workers at a city firm could lose their jobs after being told the factory is relocating more than a hundred miles away.

Motoring giant Lotus has announced it is relocating its Worcester operation to Norwich, meaning the future appears uncertain for staff in the city.

The company said it had “outgrown” the Worcester site (pictured), off Williamson Road, near Ronkswood, meaning they need to relocate.

According to the company, the Lotus Lightweight Structures’ current facility for making parts in Worcester will be re-purposed by the freeholder and Lotus will leave the site in May 2021.

The operation in Worcester would be merged with the steel fabrication site in Norwich, moving together to a larger facility in Hurricane Way, Norwich.

Worcester-based staff will be offered the opportunity to continue their roles in Norwich, where the company is recruiting for both the new Hurricane Way facility and Hethel HQ.

Worcester’s MP Robin Walker said he had been in touch with Lotus to discuss why the decision had been made, and offered his support to any staff affected.

He said: “I am sorry to hear of any firm moving away from Worcester and what we want to make sure is people are investing in businesses here and growing the economy.

“I have spoken with Lotus and they confirmed the jobs are not being cut, they are being moved, and they are offering jobs to everyone from Worcester.

“I have also offered to put them in touch with the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for Work and Pensions in Worcester to offer support.

“It is worrying when any business decides to leave, especially considering we have some really good automotive supply chain businesses here.”

Former Worcester MP Mike Foster said he was sad to hear the news. Taking to Twitter, he said: “A blow to local workforce. I fondly remember my visit there, including trying to get out of a car with dignity in view of the Worcester News photographer. I failed.

“The facility was a little known jewel in the city’s manufacturing crown.”

David Hewitt, executive director of operations, Lotus Cars said: “By bringing the aluminium chassis and steel sub-assembly manufacturing businesses together into one facility, we can further improve upon efficiencies and productivity for Lotus manufacturing.

“Being located close to Lotus’ HQ in Hethel, Norfolk where all Lotus cars are assembled, will also benefit the business as we expand further into the future.”

It is not known how the Worcester site will be repurposed, whether it will be used for commercial purposes or for housing.

It is located just over a mile away from the former Metal Box site, on which permission was granted for more than 200 homes back in 2017.