In April last year USA-headquartered Diodes completed its acquisition of the former Texas Instruments business in the town, safeguarding all 300 jobs on site, in a deal facilitated by Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and Inverclyde Council.
During today’s visit to the company’s wafer fabrication facility (GFAB), the First Minister saw first-hand the significant progress that has been achieved since, with substantial capital expenditure approved, new tools installed and the first new products shipped for qualification.
The funding package that has been agreed, consists of a £12m research and development (R&D) grant towards a five-year project to develop more technologically-advanced transistors enhancing the company’s already highly-competitive portfolio – and £1.7m towards a £3.4m training programme to enable employees to support this change. The company has also received £169,500 from Inverclyde Council to assist with development of the site.
Diodes has identified GFAB as being integral to its long-term growth objectives. The site has room to expand in development, manufacturing and test and – most critically – has an efficient and highly-skilled workforce of engineers, operators and support staff.
The First Minister said: “Almost £14 million from Scottish Enterprise will help Diodes advance their research, develop new processes and products and make their systems more efficient and effective.
“The Scottish Enterprise funding reinforces Inverclyde’s prominence as an important area for manufacturing and business. I applaud Diodes’ faith in its Greenock workforce. Scotland has an innovative and diverse manufacturing sector with companies successfully competing in international markets. Inverclyde has benefited from recent investment in Ferguson’s and through the Glasgow City Region Deal, projects including the new cruise ship visitor centre and gallery at Greenock Ocean Terminal.”
Tim Monaghan, Diodes’ European President said: “We were very pleased to welcome the First Minister to GFAB and to show her the advances that have been made since Diodes’ acquisition of the plant. GFAB has a long-standing and highly valued relationship with Scottish Enterprise and we look forward to this continuing.
“With Diodes’ expertise, the high calibre of the GFAB workforce, and support from Scottish Enterprise, I am excited by the opportunity we are creating to progress even further, building on our manufacturing capabilities to create a centre of process development excellence in GFAB.”
Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Following the positive announcement earlier this year that Diodes had acquired the business safeguarding these 300 jobs in Greenock, it’s great to see the company now planning for its long-term future in the town.
“By investing in its people and developing leading-edge technologies it will ensure it stays at the forefront of its industry as well as remaining an integral part of the local community. We look forward to working closely with the company as it continues on this growth journey.”
Inverclyde Council leader Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “Diodes’ continued success and investment in Greenock shows that high-quality jobs of high value to the Scottish economy are very much part of our business offer here in Inverclyde.
“This welcome investment from Scottish Enterprise and the council’s own contribution to support development at the site will make a real difference in further improvements and shows that when local and national government and the national agencies work together we can deliver. This is a perfect time for business to discover Inverclyde as a location for business growth and relocation to join and become part of our community with international names such as Diodes.”
Diodes1 image caption: (L-R) Diodes apprentices Caitlin Kirk, Ross MacDonald and Aimee Cooke with the First Minister.