ENGINEERING firm Cummins is making 15 staff redundant at its North-East engine plant in response to a dip in demand.

The announcement by the Darlington-based manufacturer follows confirmation shortly before Christmas that all 100 temporary staff at the site would not have their contracts renewed in the new year.

The Yarm Road factory, which makes engines for trucks and buses, has restructured part of its business in response a reduction in forecast volumes for the year ahead compared to 2013.

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The European markets served by the plant remain flat, a spokesman said, with demand being impacted by the introduction of new green legislation.

In the second half of 2013, Cummins experienced a surge in orders as fleet buyers replenish their stocks ahead of new European engine emission legislation coming into effect at the end of this year.

However, the spike in orders has been followed by a relatively low-key start to the new year for the US-based manufacturer, which opened its Darlington site in 1965.

"To enable the business to remain competitive, a number of actions have been taken including releasing all temporary employees in 2013, and reducing costs in line with the lower volume," the spokesman added. 

"This cost reduction includes a restructuring of  areas supporting engine production, and will mean approximately 15 employees will leave the business."

Those affected will be consulted individually this week and are expected to leave the company this month.

Cummins employs about 700 staff at the engine plant, and a further 110 at its adjacent exhaust facility.