Hundreds of managerial jobs are to go at Ford UK, with many under threat at its Dunton plant, near Basildon, it has been claimed. 

The Times reports after weeks of speculation that Ford UK was to cut more than 1,000 jobs from its 12,000-strong workforce, it has emerged about 550 office jobs are set to be axed.

Many will be from its Dunton research and development site, which has previously absorbed white-collar staff from the group's Brentwood headquarters.

But union Unite queried the figures, stating that no definitive figures on redundancies have been released. 

The job losses come on top of up to 400 workers being let go from Ford's Bridgend factory in South Wales, which produces EcoBoost petrol engines for Ford cars.

Those are reckoned to be part of more than 900 job cuts planned for the plant by 2021. The factory employs 1,700 people at present.

Unite Union have stated that no "hard and fast" cuts will take place, and that all redundancies and job losses will be on a voluntary basis. 

The union has been in regularly conversation with Ford over the affects on workers going forward. 

A spokesman for Unite said: "As far as we are concerned, no definitive figures have been released on the number of redundancies. 

"As this stage, any redundancies that are taken, will be on an optional and voluntary basis, as part of a restructuring of the entire European workforce. 

"We are in regular talks with the company about what that will mean for workers going forward. 

"As far as our talks with Ford have gone, we are under the impression there will be no hard and fast cuts, and all redundancies will be on a voluntary basis.