The site of Dundee’s Michelin factory will become home to a new innovation centre focusing on sustainable transport and low-carbon energy.
An agreement has been signed to create a new company called the Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) Ltd, a partnership between the French company, Scottish Enterprise and Dundee City Council.
Michelin is to cease production of tyres at its Dundee factory next year but the company said the creation of the “flagship” demonstrates its long-term commitment to Dundee.
Jérôme Monsaingeon, Michelin’s representative on the MSIP Ltd board, said: “On December 17, together with Scottish Enterprise and Dundee City Council, we pledged to move at pace to build a new future for our Dundee site.
“By incorporating MSIP Ltd, we are taking a first concrete step in delivering against our shared ambitions of providing employment opportunities for our workforce, creating a flagship innovation centre in Dundee and placing Scotland at the forefront in the fight against climate change.
“Along with our partners, the Michelin Group is deeply committed to supporting the future development of the Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc in the years to come.”
He added: “Our workforce, through their support and professionalism, have played an extremely important role in ensuring we could set up MSIP Ltd. I would like to express my gratitude for their dedication in these challenging circumstances.”
The agreement was also signed by Scottish Enterprise chief executive Steve Dunlop, Dundee City Council leader John Alexander and Scottish Government finance secretary Derek Mackay.
It is hoped Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc will be a leading global destination, attracting companies, research institutions and skilled people to address global challenges.
The partnership will provide job opportunities and skills development in the Dundee region.
Mr Mackay said: “Since Michelin announced plans to close its Dundee plant in November, the Scottish Government, our agencies and our partners have worked tirelessly to find a long-term sustainable future for the site and the workforce.
“Today’s announcement is an important milestone. The creation of the Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc will create new employment and investment opportunities for Dundee and demonstrates Michelin’s commitment to Dundee.
“The Scottish Government will continue to do all we can to realise these ambitious plans which will provide Dundee with a first-class innovation centre.”
Mr Dunlop said: “The creation of the joint venture underlines the commitment made by Scottish Enterprise and our partners to create a long-term, sustainable future for the Baldovie plant that builds upon Michelin’s legacy of innovation and manufacturing excellence in Dundee.
“Together, we aim to create a centre of excellence in sustainable mobility and low-carbon energy that creates domestic economic opportunities while simultaneously addressing the challenges posed by the global climate crisis.”
Mr Alexander said: “This signing is a hugely important milestone in delivering on the pledges made after the closure was announced six months ago.
“The progress over that period is testament to the genuine commitment and hard work of all involved. In particular, Michelin’s long-term presence in the city is welcome as we build a new future for the site around sustainable mobility and low-carbon energy.
“There will be no let-up in our efforts to deliver significant employment and investment opportunities at Baldovie, with a clear focus on securing the first tenants for the Parc.”