Ac­tion group pre­pares to save city’s Miche­lin site

Fu­ture: Econ­omy sec­re­tary aim­ing to come up with al­ter­na­tive to clo­sure

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - KA­TRINE BUSSEY

Politi­cians, busi­ness lead­ers and trade unions will join forces in a bid to save the clo­sure-threat­ened Miche­lin tyre fac­tory in Dundee.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced de­tails of the ac­tion group be­ing set up to look at al­ter­na­tive fu­tures for the plant and its 845 work­ers.

It will be led by Dundee City Coun­cil leader John Alexan­der and Steve Dun­lop, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Scot­tish En­ter­prise, with both Scot­tish Fi­nance and

“They are at least giv­ing me a hear­ing in about three weeks”

Econ­omy Sec­re­tary Derek Mackay and Sec­re­tary of State for Scot­land David Mun­dell also in­volved, as well as John Reid, di­rec­tor of Dundee’s Miche­lin site.

It comes af­ter First Min­is­ter Nicola Stur­geon pledged Scot­tish min­is­ters would “leave no stone un­turned” in the ef­forts to se­cure a “pos­i­tive fu­ture” for the fac­tory.

Miche­lin’s an­nounce­ment that the site is to be closed in less than two years was “dev­as­tat­ing”, she said, adding that her thoughts were with the staff and their fam­i­lies.

The France-based tyre firm has given Mr Mackay three weeks to come up with an al­ter­na­tive to clo­sure.

“They, whilst not want­ing to re­visit the de­ci­sion, are at least giv­ing me a hear­ing in about three weeks’ time so I can put that of­fer to them,” he said.

The Miche­lin ac­tion group has been tasked with de­vel­op­ing the re­sponse and will meet on Mon­day.

It also in­cludes se­nior fig­ures from Unite trade union, busi­ness lead­ers, in­clud­ing Dundee Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Ali­son Hen­der­son, and Damien Yeates, head of skills and train­ing body Skills De­vel­op­ment Scot­land.

The group will also seek ex­pert ad­vice from man­u­fac­tur­ing lead­ers in­clud­ing Dr Hamid Mughal, co-chair of the strate­gic lead­er­ship group of the Na­tional Man­u­fac­tur­ing In­sti­tute for Scot­land.

Mr Alexan­der stated: “It is im­per­a­tive the mem­ber­ship of the ac­tion group re­flects stake­hold­ers, ex­pe­ri­ence and those with an abil­ity to find so­lu­tions. I’m de­lighted to say that I be­lieve those iden­ti­fied do just that.

Miche­lin said ear­lier this week its Dundee plant, which opened in 1972, is due to cease op­er­a­tions by mid-2020.

Scot­tish Labour leader Richard Leonard called for the UK Gov­ern­ment to com­mit an ex­tra £50 mil­lion to the Tay Cities deal for the Dundee area.

EX­PERTS: The Miche­lin ac­tion group has now been tasked with de­vel­op­ing a re­sponse and will meet for the first time on Mon­day

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