UP to 150 jobs could be lost at a Hereford factory as it's hit by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Special Metal Wiggin said the redundancies were needed to secure the future of the Holmer Road factory as the current economic climate has seen a downturn in business.

In an email sent to employees at the international firm's Hereford site, seen by the Hereford Times, interim general manager Darrin Bird said it was "regrettable" to propose the loss of up to 150 jobs.

"The current economic climate has impacted our customers as well as all of you in every day life," he said.

"As a result we have lost further workload reducing our order book and in turn our profitability as a business. We have already considered short-term measures but feel the period of time before we see a healthy order book may be protracted.

"When we look at our forecast level of future business activity, it is now insufficient to sustain the current employment levels we have on site. Regrettably, it is therefore necessary to propose the potential loss of up to 150 jobs within the company.

"The proposed manning reductions are therefore, based on the current climate where we are faced with low sales and profit and the need to reduce costs and restructure Special Metal Wiggin Ltd, to enable us to resize the business to match the level of sales."

The majority of the proposed redundancies would be in primary and finishing operations, with 104 employees potentially "at risk" in those departments.

Consultation with trade unions were said to be "starting immediately".

Special Metal Wiggin Ltd declined to comment.