Alex Salmond announces major Scottish jobs boost

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Leading online retailer Amazon is to create 950 jobs across two Scottish sites, First Minister Alex Salmond said today.

The company will create a ‘fulfilment centre’ (the company’s term for a distribution depot) in Dunfermline, creating over 750 new jobs and an additional 200 posts will also be created at its existing fulfilment facility in Gourock, which packs and ship items for Amazon customers. The company is also expected to create a further 1,500 temporary jobs during peak periods.

All permanent employees at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Glenrothes will continue to be employed at the new site. The fulfilment centre at Gourock will be unaffected by the new centre and will continue to operate as usual.

Established in 1998, Amazon offers a wide variety of products over the internet, including books, movies, music, PC and video games, software and electronics. Plans for the group to increase its presence in Scotland will receive financial support from Scottish Enterprise – £2 million in Regional Selective Assistance and £500,000 in training grants.

The First Minister said:

“Amazon has established itself as one of the world’s leading online retailers and I am delighted with its decision to expand its Scottish operations and to create 950 jobs.

“The Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise is doing all it can to attract new jobs and investment to Scotland. Amazon’s plan to create a purpose built fulfilment centre in Dunfermline will create over 750 jobs and deliver a very significant boost to the local economy. I also welcome Amazon’s plans to build on their success in Gourock and to create 200 new posts.

“The company’s announcement of new investment in Scotland is a strong reflection on the success of its current operations and the skills of the local workforce. These new jobs are a welcome boost to the economy and a demonstration of Amazon’s commitment to doing business in Scotland.”

Vice President of European Operations at Amazon Allan Lyall said the company were delighted with the location and praised the work of Scottish Development International:

“Amazon is delighted that its biggest UK fulfilment centre is to be built in Dunfermline. It is a great location and it has been Amazon’s priority to secure a new site as close to the current Glenrothes fulfilment centre as possible in order to preserve and transfer the entire skilled workforce with all its experience and Amazon knowledge. Our decision to base this major expansion in Scotland, against stiff international competition, is due not only to the excellent local workforce but to the impressive professionalism of Scottish Development International.”

Chief Executive of Scottish Development International Anne MacColl added:

“This announcement is great news for Scotland and demonstrates once again that Scotland continues to be an attractive location for international companies to invest. Amazon operates across the world and its decision to base its largest fulfilment centre in the UK here is testament to the hard work of colleagues from across SE and SDI to secure this investment for Scotland.”

Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise Lena Wilson described Amazon as one of the world’s most well known brands and added that Scottish Enterprise would continue to work with the company in order to increase private sector investment.

Ms Wilson said:

“Amazon is one of the world’s most recognised brands. Today’s announcement is the culmination of an important project working together with Amazon to identify how we could help it to meet the significant demand it’s experiencing from UK and European customers.

“Our support for the project is expected to significantly increase private sector investment and create almost a thousand new jobs for Scotland. We’ll also be continuing to work closely with the company to look at how we can continue to support them and ensure these sites remain integral to Amazon’s UK and European operations.”

Leader of Fife Council Cllr Peter Grant welcomed the news saying:

“This is the best news possible for Fife. It is another example of partnership working between the council and Scottish Enterprise delivering real results for the people of Fife.

“Invest in Fife will now work with the company and its developer partners to support them in developing what is one of Scotland’s largest ever industrial buildings. We will also work with the national agencies and skills and training providers to assist in recruiting staff.”

Amazon’s new fulfilment centre will be situated on a 39 acre site at Calais Muir South in Dunfermline, which was previously owned by Scottish Enterprise and Fife council.  The fulfilment centre will be built on development land alongside the M90 near to the junction with the A92.

The new facility will offer 1 million square feet of space, built to Amazon’s specifications. It is expected work will begin on-site immediately and will be operational by the end of the year.

Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) is the main national scheme of financial assistance to industry, and is administered by Scottish Enterprise. The scheme provides discretionary grants to investment projects that will create and safeguard employment in areas designated for regional aid under European Community law. Payment of RSA is made in instalments, typically over several years as job and capital expenditure targets are met.