FIFTY jobs are to be axed at a Huddersfield engineering firm, it has emerged.
Gear manufacturer David Brown is in talks with union representatives at its Lockwood site over the planned redundancies.
The company is expected to seek volunteers in the first instance and expects the job cuts to be complete by the end of the year.
The job losses will involve both shopfloor and office-based staff.
The move does not affect David Brown's operations at Penistone.
David Brown, which employs 450 people at Park Works, Lockwood, said the job losses were "regrettable" but necessary to cut costs and improve its financial performance.
A company spokesman said: "While the need for job reduction is regrettable, effective action to reduce costs and realign our organisation offers the Huddersfield business the best long-term prospects for creating the business success necessary to enhance job security."
Dick Croft, Wakefield-based regional spokesman for manufacturing union Amicus, said: "The company is consulting with shop stewards and employees about its proposals.
"The job losses go alongside efforts by the company to develop new products which are more profitable."
He said: "It is part of a continuing trend. The company announced a large number of job cuts at the start of this year and made a lot of redundancies about two years ago when it carried out a major reorganisation."
David Brown is part of the fluid and power division of US-based industrial giant Textron. It makes specialist gears, including ones for the British Army's Challenger tanks.
David Brown axed 70 jobs at Lockwood and 25 at Penistone last January as part of moves to reduce duplication between businesses in the fluid and power division.
David Brown's was founded in 1860 as a gear pattern-maker.
Over the years, it rose to become one of Huddersfield's foremost companies - producing tractors, pumps and gears.
David Brown was bought by Textron, based at Providence, Rhode Island, USA. in 1998.