A GLOBAL telecoms giant is set to leave Newport by the middle of 2015 with up to 300 jobs lost to the city.

Alcatel-Lucent, which in 2010 employed around 300 of its 1,400-strong UK workforce at the Coldra, is cutting 10,000 jobs across the globe in the next two years.

The French Alcatel company, which bought out Sir Terry Matthew’s Newbridge Networks site in 2000, merged in 2006 with US-based Lucent to form one of the biggest telecoms companies in the world.

It plans to merge its three UK sites in Maidenhead, Swindon and Newport, as part of its efforts to slash company expenditure by 15 per cent.

All three sites are under-occupied and could be combined at a new or existing location, said UK spokeswoman Jenny Cropper, with the Newport site closing by 2015.

The company will try to keep as many of the Newport staff as it can by offering for them to work from home, as most are IT and back-room staff, but the UK is not immune from global job cuts, she said.

“At the beginning of October we told our staff in Newport that we would be closing the Newport office,” said Mrs Cropper, who said she could not reveal exactly how many people are employed at the Newport site as part of “company policy”.

A study by the UK Trade and Investment Enquiry Service in 2010 stated that 300 people work there, but Mrs Cropper said the figure is now substantially lower.

“Our policy with our staff has been to be completely transparent,” she said. “We are doing everything we can to involve [staff] in the move.”

Alcatel-Lucent could even establish a new base in the west of England, said Mrs Cropper.

“We have told staff we would do our best to keep them on,” she said. “We are not moving because we have to shed staff but we want to try and reduce our costs.

“If people can’t travel then we will consider home-working or telecommuting. This is not about losing staff.”

MP for Newport East, Jessica Morden MP said: “It’s a worrying time for the workers and their families who were told some weeks ago that the company may be looking to consolidate its sites.

“The company have told me that no decision has been made and that nothing is off the table and I hope to meet them shortly to discuss this.”

William Graham, AM for South East Wales, said: “It’s worrying news, the loss of an important employer which has been here for a long time."

“For the local economy to lose relatively well-paid jobs is unfortunately a feature of a global economy.”

A spokeswoman for the Communication Workers Union said: “We will be supporting our members through this difficult time and encourage any CWU members affected to get in touch with their branch for support.”