Michelin Site (Dundee)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 6th November 2019.

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Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

2. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on progress on the future of the Michelin site in Dundee, in light of the first anniversary of the announcement to close it in 2020. (S5O-03704)

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

Earlier today, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work attended the latest meeting of the Michelin Dundee action group, comprising Michelin and a range of national and local public sector bodies and the trade unions.

Michelin’s commitment to the long-term future of the site is evident, and we are clear that the Scottish Government and its partners must at least match that. That is why we have announced a joint funding package of £60 million, together with Michelin, to deliver our shared vision for the Michelin Scotland innovation park over the next 10 years. The park will attract companies, research institutions and a highly skilled workforce. We want Scotland to lead the way in developing and manufacturing the technologies of the future, and the park will be vital in helping us achieve that.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

I welcome the fantastic announcement of the £60 million investment by the partners—Michelin, the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council. Will the minister join me in welcoming the launch of the new branding for the Michelin Scotland innovation park, which I attended this morning? The branding is absolutely fantastic. Will he also pay tribute to the Michelin workforce, without whom none of that could have happened? They have played a key role in securing the investment in the site.

Finally, how much has the United Kingdom Government offered to contribute towards this important project?

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

I join Shona Robison in welcoming the fact that the branding for the park is now available. We want the park to be very visible, and having some outward-facing branding is an important part of that.

I, too, pay tribute to the workforce at Michelin. They have been outstanding throughout the process. As soon as the news about the future of the plant was announced, their clear determination was to secure a future for the site and for the city of Dundee. Working with them, that is exactly what we have been able to do.

The UK Government has not contributed any funding towards the Michelin Scotland innovation park. Derek Mackay has written to Andrea Leadsom, seeking a commitment to fund specific projects for the park, and we await a response with interest.

Photo of Bill Bowman Bill Bowman Conservative

It is good to hear of those recent developments, but it is a pity that it took the loss of 800 jobs to get the Scottish Government to begin to think about those innovative opportunities.

What action has been taken to shake up Scottish Enterprise, such that the Scottish Government does not sleepwalk into losing 800 crown-jewel manufacturing jobs again?

Photo of Jamie Hepburn Jamie Hepburn Scottish National Party

What an utterly miserly response to the news that we, together with Michelin, have ensured investment of £60 million into the city of Dundee to secure the future of the Michelin site. We might think that Mr Bowman, as a member who represents North East Scotland, would welcome that news, but he has failed to do so, and I am sure that the people of Dundee will reflect on that.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Question 3 was withdrawn; question 4 was not lodged.