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Jobs bonanza

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Jobs bonanza

TWO world class PPE factories are to be built in Dumfriesshire, creating 300 new jobs.

The Globus Group, Britain’s largest PPE company and the owners of Alpha Solway in Annan, yesterday announced a £33 million public-private partnership investment in the region.

The company is about to start construction on a new £12 million state-of-the-art factory at the Gilnockie Business Park in Heathhall.

It is phase one of their plans and is scheduled to be fully operational by the summer.

And it will play a key part in Alpha Solway’s ongoing major contribution to protecting NHS workers tackling Covid 19. Last summer the company won a contract with the Scottish Government to ensure frontline NHS staff have high quality PPE throughout the pandemic and beyond and have committed to producing 1 billion respiratory products to the NHS annually.

Phase two of their plans will see ground broken on a new plant in Annan later this year, expected to replace current operations in the town.

Together, the new developments will see the creation of more than 300 jobs locally.

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) have given £4.8 million of investment to Globus towards the expansion.

Thanking them, Alpha Solway director Steven Binnie said: “We are totally committed to the Scottish economy and the South of Scotland communities, so our aims have so much in common with SOSE. It takes real vision and innovative thinking on all sides to develop this kind of public-private partnership which will deliver real long-term benefits for the region and for the NHS workers and others who rely on our products.

“The site will create around 300 sustainable new jobs for the community, driving the local economy forward.

“The announcement of the new facility has cemented our long-term commitment to having 75 per cent of our products made in the UK – as quickly as we could.”

Meanwhile, enterprise chairman Professor Russel Griggs OBE said: “I am delighted we have supported Alpha Solway with this £4.8m financial investment, our largest grant to date.

“The establishment of the new manufacturing hub and a centre of excellence for PPE will not only create and sustain many new jobs in the region, but we hope will inspire the South of Scotland to think bigger and more innovatively.

“Ultimately, we hope this investment will secure a Scottish-owned base to manufacture PPE for Scotland, UK and international markets.”

There was congratulations from the Scottish Government too with Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing saying: “This is tremendous news for the south of Scotland economy, creating 300 new jobs and underlining the important role that the manufacture of vital protective equipment can play in our recovery.”

And Dumfries and Galloway Council depute leader Cllr Rob Davidson added: “This is great news for our region and I welcome this significant funding announcement for our area.

“Alpha Solway have already proved themselves to be committed and valued local employers so I am happy that they will be able to build on their already excellent track record.

“The fact that these new jobs will be in manufacturing PPE equipment adds to the good news both in the fight against covid and our collective efforts to restart and rebuild the local economy.”

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