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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 August, 2004, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
RR opts to stay in East Kilbride
Aircraft engines
The East Kilbride plant overhauls aircraft engines
Rolls-Royce has decided to replace its factory in East Kilbride with a new 45m plant, securing 1,100 jobs.

The company had considered several options for the Aero Repair and Overhaul factory, including relocating to Eastern Europe.

The skill of the workforce and its commitment to new working practices had been "key" to staying in East Kilbride.

Another factor was an 8m regional grant from the Scottish Executive, a company spokesman said.

The new factory will be built on another site in East Kilbride and several locations are being considered.

Graeme Waddell, Rolls-Royce's business director at East Kilbridge, said: "Throughout the review process a number of significant, competing options were examined in great detail.

The East Kilbride operation's reputation within the company as a high performing aircraft engine repair facility is second-to-none
Jim Wallace
Enterprise Minister
"We are now in a position to move forward with detailed examination of the site that will best suit our needs.

"We will be consulting widely with external stakeholders and planning applications will be submitted shortly."

The engine repair and overhaul facility in East Kilbride was opened in 1953 to service the needs of the RAF during the Korean War.

In 1993, it was established as Rolls-Royce's specialist centre of its kind for the civil and defence sectors.

The company said the East Kilbride investment was "underpinned by agreement to implement further improvements in working practices... that will become essential elements of a more efficient and effective manufacturing operation".

As well as the 1,100 people directly employed there, about 3,000 more sub-contracting and other jobs depend on the factory's existence.

'Strong reputation'

Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace said: "I'm delighted that we have been able to support this project with a competitive regional selective assistance offer.

"The East Kilbride operation's reputation within the company as a high performing aircraft engine repair facility is second-to-none.

"I have no doubt that this strong reputation played no small part in helping secure the project for Scotland, and East Kilbride's future as an engineering operation, despite extremely tough competition from Eastern Europe."

In total, Rolls-Royce employs about 2,300 people in Scotland.

Its facility at Hillington, which makes compressor blades and seals for a range of Rolls-Royce engines, is in the process of moving to a new 85m "Centre of Excellence" at Inchinnan. An official opening is scheduled for later this year.

Rolls-Royce Marine, at Dalgety Bay in Fife, where 200 people work, manufactures stabilisers and steering gear.

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