Packard Bell NEC to invest in Scots plant

Packard Bell NEC to invest in Scots plant
Alex Mayhew-Smith Packard Bell NEC has announced a major investment in Scotland with the creation of a PC manufacturing and distribution plant. The investment, worth ?26m, is expected to create over 800 jobs at the proposed Livingston-based PC build-to-order plant. Scotland was chosen from a number of international sites being considered by the PC company. The announcement comes at a time of business gloom for Scotland’s so-called Silicon Glen. National Semiconductor recently shut down its plant in Greenock for a week at Easter, and plans a further shutdown for two weeks in July. Fullarton Computer Industries in Gourock, Strathclyde recently axed 338 jobs. However, Michel Fromont, Packard Bell NEC’s international v-p said: “We chose Scotland because of the skilled labour pool, business infrastructure – including a comprehensive network of suppliers, transport links and our key interest in the UK PC market.” The plant will produce a range of desktop PCs for the European commercial market and will double the company’s European PC production by 2002. It is hoped that the jobs will be created by 2002, following a three-phase development. Other good news for Scotland was provided by the French company Ion Beam Services. The company, which is a leading provider of ion implantation in France, is to open a plant in Bathgate, creating 40 jobs. The plant is expected to be up and running by September.


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