Progress at Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc

Progress at Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc Image

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander today welcomed the news that Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc has continued to receive high levels of interest from potential tenants during the Coronavirus lockdown period.

MSIP Chief Executive John Reid said an increasing number of enquiries were coming from larger firms looking to reassess their strategic plans and investments in light of the pandemic.

Mr Reid said: “This is particularly encouraging, as these companies are seeing MSIP as the right kind of long term, sustainable investment to take them out of the pandemic period and into the future.“

Despite the disruption caused by Coronavirus, the project remains on track, with partner funding now in place and a number of developments that are either progressing or ready to get under way as soon as restrictions are lifted.

It is expected that announcements on the first tenants for the Parc and strategic partnership agreements with key academic institutions will be made by summer.

Contracts will be let shortly on the Innovation Centre, which is at an advanced stage, and work will start on site infrastructure as soon as the current restrictions are lifted. The Skills Centre proposal has also made good progress and will be part of the city‘s post-pandemic Recovery Plan.

Mr Reid said: “All this work and progress means that MSIP has developed in line with the target strategy and is on schedule, despite the significant disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.

“In fact, the COVID situation and its impact only serves to increase the importance of MSIP and its future role of driving the development of sustainable technologies and manufacturing jobs in Scotland.“

Mr Reid‘s tenure as Chief Executive will conclude at the end of June, although he will stay on as a special adviser to the MSIP board. Two appointments to the senior management team of MSIP have also been confirmed.

Colin Mcilraith, an experienced Senior Manager from Michelin who has played a key role in developing MSIP from the start, becomes Chief Operating Officer, while Audrey Ashforth, who worked at the tyre plant as Financial Manager, has been appointed Financial Controller.

Mr Reid said: “It was always intended that my role leading the foundation of MSIP would sit alongside overseeing the ramp down of production at the Michelin plant, which was scheduled to conclude in June.

“Sadly, the Coronavirus pandemic brought an earlier-than-anticipated end to production, although we have continued to provide employees with intensive job search and wellbeing support.

“At MSIP, the team have been working remotely throughout the lockdown, allowing this significant progress to be made in a number of key areas.

“I’m delighted to confirm the appointments of two members of the MSIP management team - Colin Mcilraith as Chief Operating Officer and Audrey Ashforth as Financial Controller. We‘ve achieved so much at MSIP in a relatively short period of time, and there‘s a strong team in place to work with the new CEO on the exciting next phase.“

Councillor Alexander said: "It is quite astounding that so much progress has been made in such a short time with this project. The buzz we know it's been creating among decision-makers across the country and beyond is a positive development.

"John Reid has been an integral part of that progress and I‘m delighted that he will continue to provide his wisdom and support to MSIP going forward. I wish him all the very best with his new role.“

Scottish Enterprise CEO Steve Dunlop said: “As we move towards looking to get the country back on its feet, the future of MSIP will be a crucial element in bringing employment and opportunities, but also ensuring a greener and fairer Scotland.

“It’s a sign of the fantastic job John Reid has done in getting the project to this stage during his stint as Chief Executive and I am confident he will continue to do the same exceptional work in his new role. Now is the time to look to the future in our recruitment of John‘s successor.“

Jerome Monsaingeon, Michelin Group representative on the board of MSIP, said: "The progress made in a short time at MSIP has been exceptional, and John Reid has been instrumental in those achievements. I am extremely pleased that John has agreed to stay on as a senior advisor to the board and I am looking forward to the next phase of this ground-breaking project."

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, said: “The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created some exceptionally challenging conditions for the whole economy, and manufacturing is no exception. The crisis has also underlined just how crucial a strong, innovative and diverse manufacturing sector is for Scotland, with many manufacturers supplying vital equipment for the health and social care response. Michelin Dundee has played its part in supporting NHS Tayside and its local communities.

“The Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc vision is to be a world class Innovation Parc focused on sustainable mobility and low carbon energy. We want Scotland to lead the way in developing and manufacturing the technologies of the future and MSIP will be vital in helping us achieve this. I am pleased to see that great strides are being made despite these difficult times, and would like to take this opportunity to thank John Reid for his energy and effort in helping this ambitious vision become a reality.“

The recruitment process for a new MSIP chief executive is under way, and it‘s hoped that a decision on the appointment will be made in the coming weeks.

Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc, an ambitious joint venture between Dundee City Council, Michelin, and Scottish Enterprise, is a world class Innovation Parc focused on sustainable mobility and low carbon energy.

With a 32-hectare site and excellent physical connectivity, MSIP has dynamic space that can adapt to all sizes of business. As well as large, flexible space, tenants will have access to an innovation campus, a skills academy, business support and competitive, green energy delivered from sustainable sources.

Underpinning all of activities at MSIP is a collaborative approach to achieve the goal of zero carbon.

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