Eight-figure investment in Greenock tech plant employing 300 people

A global electronics manufacturer has received an almost £14 million boost to upgrade facilities at its Greenock site, which was on the brink of closure last year.

Diodes employees Caitlin Kirk, Ross MacDonald and Aimee Cooke with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Contributed

Semiconductor producer Diodes Incorporated has received a £13.7m funding package from Scottish Enterprise to advance research, develop new products and train staff at its wafer fabrication facility.

The funding deal, along with a six-figure investment from Inverclyde Council, supports the company’s ambitious £47m project designed to enable a stable future in Greenock.

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The former Texas Instruments plant, which was threatened with closure last year, was acquired in April by Diodes, safeguarding all 300 jobs. The move was facilitated by Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and Inverclyde Council.

The financial backing from Scottish Enterprise includes a £12m research and development (R&D) grant towards a five-year project to develop more technologically advanced transistors, as well as £1.7m towards the firm’s £3.4m training programme to upskill employees in the area.

Diodes has also received £169,500 from Inverclyde Council to assist with the development of the facility.

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The US-headquartered group said it had identified GFAB, the company’s Greenock wafer fabrication facility, as “integral” to its long-term objectives, claiming the site has room to expand its development, manufacturing and testing capabilities.

'Safeguarding 300 jobs in Greenock'

Diodes European president Tim Monaghan said: “GFAB has a long-standing and highly valued relationship with Scottish Enterprise and we look forward to this continuing.

“With Diodes’ expertise, the high calibre of the GFAB workforce, and support from Scottish Enterprise, I am excited by the opportunity we are creating to progress even further, building on our manufacturing capabilities to create a centre of process development excellence in GFAB.”

Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, added: “Following the positive announcement earlier this year that Diodes had acquired the business safeguarding these 300 jobs in Greenock, it’s great to see the company now planning for its long-term future in the town.

“By investing in its people and developing leading-edge technologies it will ensure it stays at the forefront of its industry as well as remaining an integral part of the local community. ”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the Inverclyde plant today to mark the funding deal and tour the facilities. She said: “Almost £14m from Scottish Enterprise will help Diodes advance their research, develop new processes and products and make their systems more efficient and effective.”

The GFAB site was constructed in 1970 for National Instruments and chip making has since developed into a key industry for the area.