Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Friday, 15 August 2008 17:09 UK

Wind turbine plant set to close

Wind turbines
More than 90 people work at the Vestas plant in Campbeltown

Scotland's only wind turbine tower factory, which employs 92 people, is set to close.

Danish company Vestas is to cease production at its factory, near Campbeltown, and invest in another plant in the Isle of Wight.

Vestas said the factory had been losing money. Production is expected to be run down over the next few months.

Details emerged as Vestas said demand for its wind turbines was up 67% on last year.

The news came amid a drive by the Scottish Government to boost renewable energy.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced last September that Scotland had gained the ability to produce more green energy than nuclear power.

Argyll and Bute MSP and Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said he planed to meet workers at the Vestas plant next week.

'Body-blow'

He expressed regret at the decision but said the government, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, would do everything possible to try to save the operation.

Argyll and Bute Council leader, Dick Walsh, said the decision would hit the local area hard.

He said: "This factory has supplied many people with employment opportunities since it opened. The announcement will have a devastating impact on the whole community."

Mr Walsh said employment in Kintyre had already dipped, following the closure of Campbeltown ship yard and, more recently, the Jaeger factory.

He added: "In spite of this body-blow to the Kintyre economy, we are continuing to look at projects which may help to regenerate this fragile community."


SEE ALSO
Salmond rejects UK nuclear policy
07 Sep 07 |  South of Scotland
Wind turbine-maker powers ahead
15 Aug 08 |  Business
McConnell renews energy pledge
06 May 02 |  Scotland
Kintyre's wind of change
12 Mar 02 |  Scotland
Turbines bring wind of change
18 Jun 01 |  Scotland

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