AS many as 200 jobs could be lost at a Colchester-based facilities management firm due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Cloudfm, which is based on the Severalls Industrial Estate, has announced a major restructure of its operations as lockdown restrictions continue to be ease across the country.

The firm says due to demand created during the pandemic it has accelerated the use of technology in its work, including Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality tools.

This has led to a “major boost to the automation of existing processes” which bosses say will allow it to offer services at a greater scale and at a faster rate.

However, it will also mean a “substantial reduction in the number of people employed directly by Cloudfm”.

Consultation with employee representatives and with colleagues affected has begun.

The exact number of redundancies has not been revealed, however, sources have told the Gazette it could be as many as 200.

Jeff Dewing, chief executive officer of Cloudfm, said: “No business could have anticipated the scale and impact of Covid-19 and its economic consequences.

“The decision to restructure the business has been extremely tough, but these changes are necessary and will best prepare Cloudfm to adapt to the new reality, as we continue to support our clients and develop our technology solutions.

“It is with great sadness the restructure will have an impact on so many of our colleagues and their families.

“Our number one focus will be to work tirelessly in the first instance to help those colleagues find new roles as fast as possible.”

The firm has continued to support customers, suppliers and even take on new customers throughout the crisis.