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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Rolls-Royce plans 85m factory
Engine
Rolls-Royce announced job losses last year
Rolls-Royce is to invest 85m in a new Scottish factory, the company has announced.

The aircraft engine maker said the move would safeguard 1,000 jobs in the west of Scotland.

The investment has been hailed as "hugely significant" by Enterprise Minister Wendy Alexander - who said the Scottish Executive had offered 15m in support to secure the deal.


The skills, experience and commitment of our Scottish workforce were important factors in our decision to remain here

Royan Anthony
Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce is running down its aerospace facility at Hillington on the outskirts of Glasgow and the new investment had been the subject of extensive speculation.

A number of sites within Scotland are being considered, including a location close to Glasgow Airport.

The company said that construction of the new 50,000 square metre plant would begin this summer.

Rolls-Royce said it would select a location for the new factory by the end of May.

The transfer of work from Hillington is due to start in spring 2003 and should be completed by the summer of 2005.

'Resounding endorsement'

Royan Anthony, managing director of Rolls-Royce Compressor Systems, said: "This 85m project is a demonstration of the company's commitment to Scotland and a tribute to the skills, experience and commitment of our workforce at Hillington.

"We will create a world class centre of excellence for aerospace component manufacture at the new site."

Last November Rolls-Royce announced the loss of 400 jobs at the Hillington plant, which dates back to 1939, as part of a world-wide restructuring.

Production has fallen by 30% at Hillington during a major downturn in the sector following the 11 September terror attacks.

Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell welcomed the announcement
Mr Anthony said: "Hillington is an old plant and it is not suitable for the modern manufacturing systems we need to employ to remain competitive.

"We looked at a number of alternative locations for a new facility, including some overseas.

"The skills, experience and commitment of our Scottish workforce were important factors in our decision to remain here."

First Minister Jack McConnell said: "I am delighted to be able to welcome this important announcement from Rolls-Royce, a company which has been an important presence in Scotland for many years.

"The fact that it has selected Scotland as the location for its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is a resounding endorsement of the management and workforce at Rolls-Royce's Scottish facilities.


The support offered by the Scottish Executive to secure this facility and the company's continued commitment to Scotland is by far the largest made since devolution

Wendy Alexander
Enterprise Minister
"Winning this project is undoubtedly a significant boost for Scotland's manufacturing sector after a difficult year."

Ms Alexander said the announcement was a testament to the calibre of the company's Scottish workforce.

"The company's world-beating technology and the skills of its world-class workforce at Hillington surely provide a firm foundation for the company's continued success," she said.

She said the deal had been clinched by a collaboration between the Scottish Executive's Regional Selective Assistance team, Scottish Development International and the Scottish Enterprise network.

"The support offered by the Scottish Executive to secure this facility and the company's continued commitment to Scotland is by far the largest made since devolution.

'Excellent day'

"This 15m offer underlines our commitment to supporting Scottish science and skills as the foundation of future economic success, moving Scottish manufacturing towards the high ground to deliver safer jobs and sustainable prosperity."

John Neillie, staff convenor with the MSF section of the Amicus union, said it was an "excellent day for Scottish manufacturing and for the economy of the west of Scotland".

Rolls-Royce employs some 40,000 people in more than 30 countries, including more than 25,000 in the UK.

Compressors built by the company in Scotland are used in the majority of the company's gas turbines, which are used in the civil aerospace, defence, marine and energy markets.

See also:

29 Nov 01 | Scotland
Rolls-Royce cuts 400 Scots jobs
29 Nov 01 | England
Rolls-Royce job cuts confirmed
19 Oct 01 | Scotland
Rolls-Royce staff 'fear the worst'
19 Oct 01 | Business
Rolls-Royce cuts 5,000 jobs
18 Oct 01 | Business
Profile: Rolls-Royce
18 Oct 01 | Scotland
Union plea over Scots aero jobs
14 Oct 01 | Business
Rolls-Royce 'to axe 3,500 jobs'
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