Jobs boost as Sun announces £25.8 million expansion

NETWORK computer company Sun Microsystems today (Friday) announced a £25.8 million expansion of its plant in Linlithgow, West Lothian. The American-based company is expected to create around 200 new jobs as it expands its Scottish operations facility.

The expansion will focus on extending the company’s manufacturing capabilities by a further 140,000 sq. ft. in support of business growth and new technology developments. This will increase the overall footprint of the plant to 405,000 sq.ft.

Building work at Linlithgow is expected to begin in the summer, subject to planning approval from West Lothian Council. The extension is earmarked to open in July 2001.

The move is being backed by the Scottish Executive, through the inward investment agency Locate in Scotland. Henry McLeish, Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning welcomed the development at a media conference in Linlithgow this morning.

Sun is the world’s largest provider of high-powered computers (called servers), which make up the backbone of the internet.

Amongst the high profile companies which are “powered by Sun” equipment are some well known names – Scottish Power, BSkyB and John Menzies. The company has also won acclaim for its links with Hollywood; Sun provided the all-important computing power for both “Toy Story” movies.

The Linlithgow plant – Sun’s only manufacturing base outside America – was first opened in 1990. Over 910 employees, plus some 190 contractors, work at Linlithgow’s state-of-the-art plant, producing Sun’s full range of products, from desktop workstations through to workgroup and enterprise servers and also the network systems designed for the telecommunications industry.

The new jobs will be for highly-skilled engineers and technicians and the company will be actively recruiting across Scotland.

Hugh Aitken, Vice President who manages Sun’s Operations in Europe and Asia Pacific, was delighted at today’s announcement. He said : “We’ve got a world-class team here in Scotland and we want to build on that.

“The Linlithgow plant is one of only three Sun manufacturing bases around the world, and this expansion allows us to develop the technologies and services which will drive Sun forward globally.

“Sun as a company has benefited enormously from the success of the electronics industry in Scotland. I’m looking forward to building on the substantial growth we have achieved here.”

The company’s confidence in the growth of the net and the demand for its products which support the increase in e-business led to the need for this expansion.

Sun’s announcement comes just three weeks after Sun Chief Executive Officer Scott McNealy told an audience in New York that the growth of the internet – now encompassing entertainment, voice and commerce – gave Sun a huge potential for sales growth.

“This is the biggest equipment business in the history of anything,” he said. “All of these transactions, entertainment, phone calls are all going to be stored on Sun servers.”

Mr McNealy said that eventually every digital or electronic device – including even common lightbulbs – would be connected to the web one day, driving enormous growth for Sun’s products.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision – The Network is The Computer? – has propelled Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to “.com” their businesses. With $14 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and online at sun.co.uk

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, Sun Enterprise, and `The Network Is The Computer’ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries.
About Locate in Scotland
Locate in Scotland is the joint Scottish Executive/Scottish Enterprise inward investment agency. Scottish Enterprise is the main economic development agency for Scotland, covering 93 per cent of the population from Grampian to the Borders.

A separate news release on today’s announcement is being issued by Locate in Scotland. To find out more, visit the Scottish Enterprise web site at http://www.scottish-enterprise.com

Issued by THEPRSTORE on behalf of Sun Microsystems Scotland BV
For more information contact Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store
Tel: 01506 823714
Mobile: 07967 150560
e-mail: sun@theprstore.net

Iona McCullagh, Regional Marketing Manager
Sun Microsystems Scotland BV
Tel: 01506 672874
e-mail: iona.mccullagh@uk.sun.com

For information on Locate in Scotland
please contact the Scottish Enterprise press office
David Cannon
0141 248 2700

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