Mitsubishi confirm £20m Livingston R&D facility

Masataka Tarahara, Consul General of Japan in Edinburgh, Dr Kazuhiko Tsutsumi of Mitsubishi, and Fergus Ewing MSP. Picture: Rob McDougall

Masataka Tarahara, Consul General of Japan in Edinburgh, Dr Kazuhiko Tsutsumi of Mitsubishi, and Fergus Ewing MSP. Picture: Rob McDougall

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MITSUBISHI Electric yesterday unveiled a £20 million research and development (R&D) facility at its air conditioning plant in Livingston.

The investment in two test houses built on site next to the factory is expected to create 100 jobs over three years and coincided with a celebration to mark 20 years since the Japanese company arrived in West Lothian.

The UK branch of the Mitsubishi Electric R&D Centre Europe (MERCE), recently located to Livingston and is part of a longer term plan for the creation of a centre of design excellence outside Japan.

With its R&D, design and manufacturing teams operating at the same location, Mitsubishi says the Scottish site is unique within the group and is now better placed to respond to the demands of the European market.

Speaking at the launch, minister for energy, enterprise and tourism, Fergus Ewing, pictured left, said: “It is great news for Scotland that Mitsubishi Electric has placed a world class R&D centre here in Livingston.”

As part of its global growth strategy, Mitsubishi Electric is increasingly shifting production from Japan to key areas throughout the world. The company employs some 450 in Scotland.

Hiroyuki Umemura, a senior Mitsubishi executive, said: “Our site in Livingston will play a very important role as a supply base in Europe for air conditioning and renewable energy heating products and this 20th anniversary is an important milestone.”

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