The Michelin tyre factory in Dundee has closed its doors after almost half a century of production in the city.
Since the closure was announced in 2018, 731 out of 846 employees have found new jobs, entered education or retired whilst 115 people are yet to secure another role.
In the years since production started at the Baldovie factory back in 1972, Michelin Dundee has made over 300 million car tyres for customers all over the world.
The factory’s manager, John Reid, paid tribute to employees saying it was “an honour and a privilege” to have worked alongside them.
He said: “The last 20 months have been full of challenges, hard work, emotion and moments of inspiration.
“We pulled together and did our absolute best to help each other get through. Our mission was to find everyone a solution.
“With some outstanding support from the Michelin Group, Scottish Government and the city of Dundee we’ve seen 731 people do exactly that – a number that many said would not be possible.
“This means we still have 115 of team Dundee to support to their solution. This will be the sole focus of a team left behind on site for another 12 months.
“Even with the extreme and unforeseen circumstances we are all in today, I’m confident that all of these outstanding workers will soon find what they are looking for.”
He added: “I’d like to thank everyone past and present who made this factory such an amazing place. It has been an honour and a privilege to have been one of you for 28 years and to have been your factory manager for the last ten. Today we’re leaving our factory with our heads held high.”
Jerome Monsaingeon, Michelin Group representative on the board of MSIP, said: “One of the core values of the Michelin Group is respect for people. It informs everything we do, and it has been demonstrated again here.
“This is an emotional day for many people – not least John Reid himself. I would like to thank John for his passionate leadership, and all employees past and present for their contribution to the Michelin Group.”
However the site will not be empty for long with a new innovation centre focusing on sustainable transport and low-carbon energy set to be built.
The Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) partnership, between Michelin, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise, which was announced last year, aims to create hundreds of jobs.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: “The support offered to employees at the factory by Michelin and its partners since the closure was announced has been tremendous.
“Michelin has made a significant contribution to Dundee and its economy over almost half a century.”
Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, said: “The workforce of Michelin have been a huge part of the business community of Dundee for a very long time, and the value and strength of the people has been very evident as we’ve seen them work towards the closure of the plant.”