Over 100 jobs have been created and 860 safeguarded after the Michelin factory in Dundee confirmed a multi-million pound investment would turn it into a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.
First Minister Alex Salmond today announced that Scottish Enterprise support has brought a share of a UK wide investment package worth up to £50 million from Michelin into its Dundee operation to convert it into a ‘factory of the future’ that will make the next generation of fuel efficient tyre.
Local SNP MSPs Shona Robison and Joe Fitzpatrick welcomed the news that the global company had committed to the Dundee plant which will be the production site of the next generation of fuel efficient tyre.
Ms Robison, SNP MSP for Dundee City East, said: “This is fantastic news for Michelin and Dundee. It represents much needed private sector investment in the city and will not just secure the future of the many jobs already at Michelin but will also bring much needed new jobs and training opportunities, particularly for young people.”
Her colleague Mr Fitzpatrick, SNP MSP for Dundee City West, said: “This success is down to the hard work and efforts of staff and management at Michelin, working in partnership with the Scottish Government to secure this investment for Dundee.
“I know both the Finance Secretary John Swinney and the First Minister have personally worked very hard over recent months to bring this investment to the city.”
The first tranche of this investment is already in place, ensuring that the Dundee factory, whose staff include 24 apprentices, remains at the cutting edge of tyre production as a key facility for Michelin, the world’s largest tyre manufacturer.
First Minister Alex Salmond described the decision by Michelin as a “resounding vote of confidence” in the staff at the plant and said:
“Assisted by RSA funding from Scottish Enterprise, Michelin has already begun transforming the Dundee factory to enable the hundreds of fantastic, skilled workers here to remain at the cutting edge of their industry and help the worldwide drive to the low carbon economy.”
The commitment will also secure the future of Michelin’s innovative on-site apprentice training centre, which has trained hundreds of modern apprentices and Skillseekers for work in the Michelin factory and at other engineering firms in Tayside.
The First Minister added:
“Michelin’s investment in Dundee has now secured the future of this great manufacturing plant, creating 140 new jobs and ensuring the excellent work of the apprentice training centre on site can continue for many years to come.
“All of the workers here in Dundee have worked incredibly hard to ensure this project goes ahead, and today will be an extremely proud day for every member of staff.”
Eric Le Corre, Managing Director, Michelin UK, said the company remained committed to manufacturing in the UK and acknowledged the importance of government support.
Mr Le Corre said:
“As the biggest employer in the UK tyre industry it is not only great news for Michelin but also for the UK economy, and especially for the communities around our plants.
“The importance of this six-year investment plan is reinforced by the fact that both the UK and Scottish governments have agreed to support this initiative with grants and we look forward working with them to re-establish the UK’s position as a major force in global manufacturing.”
The funding from Michelin into its Dundee plant was secured with the help of a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) award from Scottish Enterprise.
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.
The Dundee facility is the only tyre factory in Scotland and one of three UK production sites for Michelin plc, the largest tyre manufacturer in the UK and the world.
The Dundee factory manufactures over 7,000,000 car tyres each year for export all over the world. Opened in 1972 it currently employs just under 1,000 people. In 2006 Dundee was the first Michelin factory in the world to embrace wind energy with two wind turbine generators helping to reduce the plant’s environmental impact and energy bills.
The Energy Saver Tyre to be made at the plant is Michelin’s fourth generation green tyre that has been shown in independent tests to offer the best fuel consumption and tyre life of any European competitors. The tests – carried out by the German motor vehicle inspection association – also revealed it was the top performer in wet braking examinations.
Since its inception, Michelin’s on-site training facility in Dundee has had support from Skills Development Scotland (and its predecessors) for 150 Modern Apprenticeships. At present, 51 young people are undergoing training at the site – 27 of whom are from firms elsewhere in the region.