Action group in fight to save Michelin tyre factory

Politicians, business leaders and trade unions will join forces in a bid to save the closure-threatened Michelin tyre factory in Dundee.

Derek Mackay at the factory. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The Scottish Government has announced details of the action group that is being set up to look at alternative futures for the plant and its 845 workers.

It will be led by Dundee City Council leader John Alexander and Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, with both Scottish finance and economy secretary Derek Mackay and Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell also involved, as well as John Reid, director of Dundee’s Michelin site. It comes after Nicola Sturgeon pledged Scottish ministers would “leave no stone unturned” in the efforts to secure a “positive future” for the factory. Michelin’s announcement the site is to be closed in less than two years was “devastating”, she said, adding her thoughts were with the staff there and their families. The French-based tyre firm have given Mr Mackay three weeks to come up with an alternative to closing the plant.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

“They, whilst not wanting to revisit the decision, are at least giving me a hearing in about three weeks’ time so I can put that offer to them,” he said.

The Michelin action group has now been tasked with developing the response and will meet for the first time in the city on Monday. It also includes senior figures from the Unite trade union, business leaders from the area, including Dundee Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alison Henderson, and Damien Yeates, head of skills and training body Skills Development Scotland. In addition to this, the group will seek expert advice from manufacturing leaders including Dr Hamid Mughal, co-chair of the strategic leadership group of the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland. Mr Alexander pledged the group would “hit the ground running” and would be focused solely on keeping Michelin in Dundee.

He stated: “It is imperative the membership of the action group reflects stakeholders, experience and those with an ability to find solutions. I’m delighted to say I believe those identified do just that. This action group will hit the ground running with one focus, to retain Michelin’s footprint in Dundee. I want to thank the Scottish Government, in particular, for their unwavering support for the workforce and the city at this difficult time.”