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Thursday, 3 May, 2001, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Kintyre set for wind farm jobs boost
Wind farm
The Vestas project is a welcome investment
A Danish wind turbine maker could be set to create up to 150 jobs in Kintyre.

Vestas Wind Systems is looking to establish a manufacturing centre at the former Royal Air Force base at Machrihanish.

The company is in talks with the area's enterprise company - and it is hoped that a deal can be done within days.

The development has come less than a week after the area suffered a major setback with the loss of 160 jobs at the Jaeger clothing factory in Campbeltown.

MSP George Lyon
George Lyon sounded a note of caution
The Vestas proposal has been hailed as a significant inward investment project for the Highlands and Islands.

The company was understood to have been attracted by the prospect of 9m in public money.

The area's MSP George Lyon sounded a note of caution when he told the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday that claims of a deal were premature.

The Liberal Democrat member for Argyll and Bute said that the Scottish Executive should concentrate on every project that could bring jobs to the area.

However, Highlands and Islands Enterprise chief executive Sandy Cumming said: "The construction of a wind turbine manufacturing plant in Campbeltown is potentially the largest inward investment project in the Kintyre region in recent times and represents an important diversification of the economic base of the area.

Jobs blows

"Our talks with the company are well advanced and we are optimistic that a deal will be concluded this week."

The plant would be the company's first factory in Europe outside Denmark and will use many of the skills employed in Campbeltown's former shipyard, which closed in 1997.

The Jaeger closure was the latest in a series of jobs blows for an area where the unemployment rate has been well above the national average.

The area suffered when the RAF said it was withdrawing from Machrihanish and the Campbeltown shipyard was closed.

A further blow came when the ferry service from Campbeltown to Ballycastle in Northern Ireland was axed last year.

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See also:

26 Apr 01 | Scotland
160 jobs go at Jaeger factory
30 Apr 01 | Scotland
Kintyre fights jobs setbacks
08 Feb 01 | Scotland
Commission ferry cash boost
21 Feb 00 | Scotland
Ferry service axed
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