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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 18:35 GMT
Hundreds of factory jobs at risk
An America company which manufactures microchips has announced plans to sell its North Tyneside factory, putting about 1,000 jobs under threat.

About 800 people work for Atmel, at Silverlink and a further 200 supply jobs are also at risk.

On Tuesday the company said it was confident that a buyer would be found and insisted "no jobs would be lost."

But Ian Williams from the regional development agency One NorthEast said it was a "worrying" time for staff.

Incentive packages

The Atmel corporation said the sale was necessary to stay competitive, and that business would continue as usual.

It added that it would also be offering incentive packages to employees to ensure their services are retained.

Billy Gibb, HR and Business Development Director at Atmel, said: "This is not a factory closure, just a need to sell the factory to another company.

"We are confident we can find a buyer, and there should be no effect on jobs at all."

North Tyneside's elected Mayor John Harrison said: "Atmel is one of North Tyneside's major employers and we will be working closely with the company and with One NorthEast to help protect jobs at the site."




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