Ex-England rugby international Austin Healey has warned that the installation business he’s a director of would have to make more than 600 redundancies if proposed cuts to the feed-in tariff are enforced.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Healey said that the cuts to the feed-in tariff would force Solarplicity to lay off some 615 installers. His words come less than a week after two large installation businesses – Mark Group and Climate Energy – entered administration with a loss of more than 1,000 jobs combined.

Healey said it was “upsetting” to see those companies enter administration and warned that the industry could see as many as 25,000 jobs go before the proposals come into force in January. Earlier this month the Solar Trade Association announced that its own study found that 27,000 jobs are at risk of the cuts.

Healey also revealed he had visited 10 Downing Street last week to discuss the cuts, which he labelled as “draconian”.

Opposition to the proposals has continued to mount, however Healey is perhaps the most well-known and recognisable face to lend his voice to the support campaign. A petition calling on the government to review the cuts has now amassed more than 24,000 signatures with a target of reaching 100,000 to trigger a potential parliamentary debate.