AN entire department at the Forensic Science Service’s Chorley base worked their last shifts on Friday.

Around 30 employees in the ‘drugs team’ left the Washington Hall, Euxton, premises for the final time on New Year’s Eve after being made redundant.

They are the first wave of job losses since it was decided that the Chorley lab would close permanently in March. More than 150 of the colleagues will face the same fate in three months' time.

Several of the Chorley FSS employees who took the option of relocating to another FSS site also now face losing their jobs after the government’s announcement that the entire service is to close.

One member of staff, who didn’t want to be named, said it was an ‘awful time’ for loyal and skilled staff.

FSS scientists in Chorley helped convict the killers of Sophie Lancaster, who died after a brutal attack in a park in Bacup.