The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Nearly 300 jobs created or safeguarded in Ayrshire

Almost £16.3 million has been invested in Ayrshire to create and safeguard 287 jobs in Irvine and Prestwick.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced the figures as Scottish Ministers met in Kilmarnock, the last of four summer Cabinets to be held outside Edinburgh over the summer.

[Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond in Ayrshire yesterday.]

Investment of £16 million, including almost £2 million Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) funding, at Ardagh Glass in Irvine will safeguard the jobs of 248 workers at the plant and ensure facilities are upgraded to secure the long term manufacture of glass in the town.

Ardagh Glass is one of Irvine’s largest employers, manufacturing glass containers primarily for the spirits industry.

Culzean Medical Devices in Prestwick, a subsidiary of Lombard Medical Technologies PLC, will create 39 new jobs supported by £297,000 of funding, of which £200,000 is RSA investment.

The expansion will allow the site to become Lombard Medical’s main manufacturing centre for stent grafts, a tubular device that is used in medicine to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms. The investment will also secure the jobs of the seven existing staff who work in Prestwick.

“The news that Scottish Development International has secured almost £16.3 million funding for Ayrshire that will create and support around 300 jobs in the area is to be warmly welcomed, and brings our total RSA support in Ayrshire to over £15 million since last April.

“This investment shows Scotland has a high quality manufacturing base and is testament to the talent, skills and experience of the Ayrshire workforce. I am delighted that companies such as Ardagh Glass and Lombard Medical are showing support for staff by continuing and expanding their presence in Ayrshire.

“Previous RSA grants have helped encourage 22 companies to invest in the area - safeguarding and creating 1,343 jobs related to projects with capital investment of £120 million.

“This Government will continue to focus on supporting business, investing in sustainable economic growth and ensuring our workforce has the skills to contribute to the future success of Scotland's economy and society.”

Anne MacColl, interim chief executive, Scottish Development International, said: “RSA funding is one of the key tools we can use to encourage both indigenous and foreign companies to invest in Scotland, and is part of the wider package of business support available from SDI and Scottish Enterprise.

“That Lombard Medical has chosen to expand its site in Scotland rather than establish operations in Ireland shows just how attractive a location for international investors Scotland continues to be, and this demonstrates the value of SDI’s work in promoting Scotland around the globe.

“We will continue to work with both Ardagh and Lombard Medical to support their growth in Scotland, and wish both companies every success in the future.”

Niall Wall, CEO of Ardagh Glass Group PLC said: “We appreciate the continued support of the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International in helping us improve the sustainability of our manufacturing operations. This funding will ensure significant CO2 reductions and also ongoing efficiency improvements at our Irvine plant, helping to secure local employment.”

Lombard Medical chief executive John Rush said: “We are grateful to Scottish Enterprise for recognising the importance of Lombard Medical’s Aorfix(tm) technology in the treatment of life-threatening abdominal aortic aneurysms.

“The grant will allow us to focus important elements of our worldwide production in Scotland, and to benefit from the existing talent pool, advantageous cost base and the ability to scale up production to meet growing international demand.

“As we increase our marketing investment in the largest European countries and work towards completing the regulatory approval process in the US, the strategic reorganisation of our operations in Prestwick and Didcot will ensure the most effective use of our facilities.”

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