Edinburgh, UK – Government, business and union officials have instigated joint efforts to avert the closure of Michelin’s tire factory in Dundee, Scotland.
Scotland’s economy secretary Derek Mackay convened the first meeting of the Michelin Dundee action group, on 12 Nov, to explore options for retaining and ‘repurposing’ the site.
The group, comprising local government officials, trade unions and business leaders, formed after Michelin announced 5 Nov that the 845-employee plant would close by mid-2020.
At the meeting in Dundee, participants* were tasked with finding a “commercial way forward” for Michelin to retain a significant presence in the city, said a Scottish government statement.
The government would leave “no stone unturned” to find a “viable and sustainable future for the plant and its workforce,” Mackay said in the statement issued after the meeting.
“We will continue to work closely with [factory manager] John Reid and his team at Michelin Dundee to put together a proposal for the future,” added the minister.
MacKay went on to note the need to address challenges such as low-cost imports coming into the market and the cost of production.
* Attendees at the first meeting of the Michelin Action Group included:
Derek Mackay, cabinet secretary for finance, economy and fair work
Steve Dunlop, chief executive, Scottish Enterprise
John Alexander, council leader, Dundee City Council
David Mundell, secretary of state for Scotland
Jamie Hepburn, minister for business, fair work and skills
Ivan McKee, minister for trade, investment and innovation
John Reid, site director, Michelin Dundee
Marc Jackson, Michelin Dundee site convenor, Unite
Prof Keith Ridgway, executive chair of the Advanced Forming Research Centre, University of Strathclyde
Alison Henderson, chief executive of Dundee Chamber of Commerce