UP to 36 jobs at an historic company which makes mining equipment in Worcester are under threat, it is believed.

Joy Mining Machinery has confirmed it is in talks with trade union representatives about redundancies at the site in Bromyard Road, St John’s, but did not comment on the numbers.

The news comes just days after it was announced the number of unemployed people in the city was falling.

Geoff Matthews, HR director at Joy Mining Machinery, said: “Joy Mining Machinery has begun consultations with trade union representatives about a proposed redundancy at the Worcester plant.

The company will not make any further comment until those consultations are completed.” We reported in Wednesday’s Worcester News how there were 2,626 people claiming unemployment benefit Job Seeker’s Allowance in Worcester last month.

The figure was down from 2,714 in August.

Worcester MP Mike Foster said job losses at Joy Mining would be a “great disappointment”.

“Without doubt there is a longer term move away from fossil fuels to generate energy which is going to cause difficulties for companies that are heavily involved in the coal industry,” said Mr Foster.

“Our job as government is to help workers affected, like these, to reskill, if that is necessary, and help them to get back into a job as soon as possible.

“In a market economy there is always going to be change and our job as a government is not to stop that change but equip people to cope and deal with it and that’s what organisations like Jobcentre Plus are there for.”

Joy Mining took over Longwall Mining in 1995, which had been producing mining equipment in Worcester since 1909 – when the company was founded by George Blake Walker – making it one of the city’s oldest companies.

It started out at the Mining Engineering Company (Meco) in 1909 and became Dowty Meco in 1979, later becoming Longwall Mining after it merged with the Dobson Park Group.

In its heyday, more than 1,000 employees passed through its gates in Worcester.