DTI fails to reassure Tyneside region over Siemens-fab money

DTI fails to reassure Tyneside region over Siemens-fab money
David Manners
Siemens says it is prepared to pay back the grants it received for its chip factory in North Tyneside, but the Department of Trade and Industry is refusing to make the money exclusively available to the North Tyneside area.
“The money will go back into a general pot which will be used for job creation schemes across the whole country,” a DTI spokesman told Electronics Weekly.
When Siemens’ Semiconductor president Dr Ulrich Schumacher came to announce the closure of the factory last August he told a press conference in London that the subsidies would be repaid. Not until this week has the government asked for it.
“We always said that if the government asked us to repay the subsidies we surely will,” said a Siemens spokesperson, “if the government is serious about asking us for the money we are serious about paying it.”
In the North East there have been calls from Bill Midgely, president of the North East Chamber of Commerce, Davey Hall regional secretary of the AEEU, and Roger Lyons of the MSF union for the money to be used exclusively and entirely to benefit the local region.

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