AN AEROSPACE engineering giant is expected to close its Dorset site and axe 140 jobs – making a total of 300 redundancies within months.

The move by Magellan Aerospace, which employs people from across the county, has been described by the trade union Unite as a “devastating blow” to the Dorset economy.

The news has been blamed on the worldwide slump in the aerospace industry.

It was revealed in the summer that Magellan was closing its site on the Poole side of Wallisdown Road after cuts at the aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

Now its site on the Bournemouth side of Wallisdown Road is also set to close, according to Unite, although a small admin team may be left in the office.

Unite regional officer Janet Wall said: “Unfortunately, the company has been badly hit by the steep decline in orders from Airbus and Boeing because of Covid-19.

“The announcement that the site will close in February with the loss of 140 jobs brings to a total of 300 the jobs lost at Magellan this year.

“This is very grim news for our members, their families and the Dorset economy.

“The south west region can ill-afford to lose these highly skilled jobs and further reinforces the need for greater government help for the aviation sector to tide it through the pandemic.

“Our government is failing UK industries and jobs.

“It needs to step up support like other governments, including Germany and many others. The government must take the lion’s share of responsibility for failing to intervene to support those sectors and the jobs in the economy left most exposed by the current crisis.

“The south west is home to the nation’s leading aerospace hub and is second only to the United States in terms of development and manufacture of aircraft worldwide.

“The consultation on the redundancies starts on November 10 and Unite will give maximum support to our about 100 members during this process.”

Magellan had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.

The government has previously said the aerospace industry has had more than £8billion in support such as the furlough scheme and business interruption loans. It is to invest £900million in new technology in the sector over three years.