Rolls-Royce is planning to close its East Kilbride aeroengine plant and move operations to another facility.
About 600 workers who service aeroengines and components at East Kilbride will have their jobs relocated to the Inchinnan plant near Glasgow airport, 16 miles away.
Rolls-Royce said the move will be completed by 2015 and will see Inchinnan become one of the company's largest plants in the UK. It said the facilities at East Kilbride, built in the 1950s, were “reaching the end of their usable life”.
But local politicians called the move a blow to the East Kilbride area.
George Adams, Rolls-Royce senior vice-president of manufacturing, said: “We are constantly striving to enhance our competitiveness and by transferring this additional activity to our Inchinnan facility we hope to further improve on this.
“We have invested over £85 million at Inchinnan to make it a state-of-the-art facility, which employs the latest manufacturing techniques and offers an improved working environment for employees.”
Linda Fabiani, the SNP's MSP for East Kilbride, said: “This is a blow to East Kilbride which has a proud record of skilled work with Rolls-Royce. It's the expertise of the East Kilbride workforce which helped to secure major work for Scotland in recent times despite global competition.
“I spoke with the management, and, whilst I welcome their commitment to maintain all the workforce by moving to the Inchinnan site, we have to recognise that for some people commuting will be difficult. They have to ensure that this move is logistically possible for their workers.
“I've also contacted South Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Enterprise as I do have some concern for the effect on the town – everyone has to work together to minimise the impact on the local economy.”
Rolls-Royce employs more than 2,100 people in Scotland, including 1,000 workers at Inchinnan manufacturing components for a range of civil, defence, energy and marine products.
Alex McMillan, managing director at East Kilbride, said: “This is a positive development for our employees and helps to safeguard jobs.
“Transferring our operations from East Kilbride will enable us to maximise efficiency at the nearby Inchinnan facility, helping us to become even more competitive.
“We will work closely with our employees to ensure that the proposed transition process is managed considerately.”
A Scottish government spokesman said: “This announcement underlines Rolls-Royce's commitment to manufacturing in the west of Scotland and is recognition of the skills at both the East Kilbride and Inchinnan plants.
“The company intends to retain all its current staff but of course we recognise that relocation to Inchinnan will cause some concerns for those employed in East Kilbride and their families. Scottish Enterprise is working closely with the company to ensure that relocation is managed effectively for all concerned.”
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