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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
New aero engine factory takes off
Rolls-Royce site at Inchinnan
An artist's impression of the new site
Rolls-Royce's new 85m aero engine factory in Renfrewshire has been opened by First Minister Jack McConnell.

The plant at Inchinnan will manufacture compressor blades and seals for a range of gas turbine engines for aircraft, ships and electricity generators.

Almost 1,000 jobs were safeguarded by the move from nearby Hillington.

Mr McConnell said the decision showed that Scotland could retain high-quality jobs in the face of competition from across the world.

Inchinnan was chosen from nine possible locations around Europe.

Working with Rolls-Royce, we have shown what we can achieve
Jack McConnell
First Minister
Rolls-Royce announced in June 2002 that Inchinnan was its favoured site as the replacement for Hillington, which dated back more than 60 years.

It was built during WWII as a factory for Merlin engines, which powered Battle of Britain Spitfires and Hurricanes.

At the time of selection, the company said Inchinnan had proved the most attractive location for the highly-skilled Hillington workforce, most of whom live locally.

Managers also said it had good transport links and that it could be made available in the required time.

Rolls-Royce received a 15m government grant towards meeting the costs of the new plant - the largest offer of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) since devolution.

New plant

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr McConnell said Rolls-Royce had a proud tradition of engineering in Scotland.

"This new plant will ensure that this tradition will continue in the future," he said.

"Their commitment to Scotland is not just an endorsement of our country, it is recognition of the skills, dedication and excellence of our workforce."

The first minister said Scotland could only grow its economy if it continued to make investments in companies, in infrastructure and in people.

'Brightest and best'

"Working with Rolls-Royce, we have shown what we can achieve," he added.

"We can retain high quality jobs in the face of competition from around the world. We can attract the brightest and best to our country.

"We can transform our economy and our country."

Sir John Ward, the chairman of Scottish Enterprise, said: "This new Scottish centre of excellence is setting new global manufacturing standards for all other Rolls-Royce plants worldwide."

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Rolls-Royce plans 85m factory
22 Apr 02  |  Scotland

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