Defence specialist Raytheon invests in Livingston site

Defence and arms specialist Raytheon has unveiled plans to launch a hi-tech manufacturing facility in Livingston in a potential boost for the West Lothian town.

Raytheon's new Livinston site will bring a jobs boost to the area and offer training and cybersecurity apprenticeships. Picture: Contributed

The US-headquartered business is to open a 130,000 square foot site which will design and manufacture power technology systems most commonly used for land armoured vehicles and radar.

It is not yet known how many jobs will be created through the launch of the new facility, however, the company currently employs 700 staff at its base in Glenrothes.

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The news comes as a boost for the Livingston area, where around 300 employees at a Kaiam manufacturing plant were made redundant on Christmas Eve.

The West Lothian site will operate in addition to the existing Fife base, as the business aims to double its market share over the next five years.

Raytheon announced it would be recruiting for skilled, permanent roles in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) sector for the proposed site in the near future, but was unable to specify a figure at this early stage, although it is already bidding for work.

The semiconductor fabrication plant in Fife remains one of the region’s largest private employers.

It anticipates that the new site will be operational within two years, serving customers in the commercial and defence sectors, while allowing the business to diversify into new markets such as training and cybersecurity apprenticeships.

The new facility, the exact location of which cannot be revealed due to security reasons, is understood to represent a significant investment in the West Lothian town.

It will be accompanied by a second office in London which is expected to open in the spring and will host several of Raytheon UK’s functions, including cyber specialists to support government and commercial clients.

Richard Daniel, Raytheon UK chief executive, said: “As part of our continued investment in Britain, these new sites will support job creation and underscore Raytheon’s commitment to developing innovative new products and technical solutions for global markets.”

The Massachusetts-headquartered business, whose UK arm acts as a contractor and major supplier to the Ministry of Defence, said its Scottish division forms a key part of its future strategy.

According to research conducted on behalf of Raytheon, the firm’s contribution to the Scottish economy is estimated to be around £130 million per annum, supporting more than 1,000 jobs across the supply chain.

The same research revealed a total contribution to the UK economy in excess of £700m for 2017.

In addition to its Scottish plant, the business operates six facilities across England and Wales, with a total of around 1,700 employees in the UK.