An action group set up to save hundreds of jobs at the closure-hit Michelin Dundee tyre factory is just days away from handing over final proposals to the company’s executives.
The French firm is preparing to receive details of a last-gasp rescue package put together by the Michelin Dundee Action Group by the end of this week as members attempt to convince the company to keep its Baldovie plant open for business.
It is understood proposals could include a package of tax breaks and government grants. Finance secretary Derek Mackay has promised “innovative interventions and potentially financial support” to safeguard nearly 850 jobs at the site.
A spokesman for the company confirmed yesterday it expects to see what the group has come up with by Friday at the very latest and said discussions between members and company bosses had been “positive” in recent weeks.
The action group was due to hand over its own draft plan to Mr Mackay by the end of last week. The Scottish Government declined to respond to questions about what those proposals look like and when they will be put to bosses in Paris.
Michelin announced plans to close the factory by 2020 earlier this month, revealing the news to staff 46 years to the day after the first tyre rolled off the Baldovie production line.
The firm is thought to be worth more than £40 million to the local economy of Dundee and is one of the region’s largest private employers.
Michelin said “cheap Asian imports flooding into Europe” and a “growing trend of car manufacturers looking for smaller tyres” had been the key factors in the decision but strongly denied Brexit had played a role, as had been widely speculated.
The action group set up to help save the factory met for the first time on November 12, led by Scottish Enterprise chief executive Steve Dunlop and Dundee City Council leader John Alexander.
Mr Mackay, Scotland Secretary David Mundell and John Reid, director of Michelin’s Dundee site, have also been involved in the talks.
In a message to workers, the finance secretary said: “I still have hope for Dundee.
“We are not throwing in the towel. In fact we are doing everything possible to save the plant to retain a future and to protect the workforce at all costs.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The Michelin Dundee Action Group is working on proposals for the future of the site.
“We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to secure a viable and sustainable future for the plant and its workforce and we are in active dialogue with Michelin about that.”