Jobs boost as Sun gets final go-ahead for £25.8 million expansion

COMPUTER firm Sun Microsystems was today given the final go-ahead to start building a £25.8 million extension to its plant in Linlithgow, West Lothian.

The company plans to create 200 new jobs as its doubles its existing manufacturing space at its Scottish operations facility.

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

The high demand for its products and the company’s confidence in the growth of the world wide web led to the decision to extend the Linlithgow plant, Sun’s only manufacturing facility outside America.

Today (Tuesday August 15), West Lothian Council granted detailed planning permission for the 140,000 sq. ft extension. Building work is expected to start at Linlithgow in the next few weeks, for completion by July 2001. Sun gained permission last month to carry out preparatory work on the site.

Currently around 900 employees and around 200 contractors work at Sun’s Linlithgow plant, producing everything from desktop workstations, workgroup and enterprise servers through to network systems for the telecommunications industry.

The new jobs will be for highly skilled engineers and technicians and the company will be actively recruiting across Scotland. The expansion has been backed by the Scottish Executive, through the inward investment agency Locate in Scotland.

Hugh Aitken, Sun’s Vice President of Operations for Europe & Asia Pacific, said: “We’re delighted at today’s news. The new extension will more than double the existing manufacturing area at Linlithgow allowing us to provide a more integrated service for our key customers.

“Sun as a company is enjoying great success on a global scale. As a Scot, I’m delighted that Scotland can share in that success with the extension of our facility in Linlithgow.

“I look forward to the work being completed on site next summer.”

Mr Aitken said the new extension would be built to the same high standard as the existing plant. New trees and shrubs would also be planted around the new buildings complementing the existing landscaping.

He also confirmed that Sun would invest £250,000 in creating a publicly accessible, community woodland close to the plant as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to support the local area.

Details are currently being discussed with residents and council leaders and full details will be unveiled once plans are finalised, probably in the next few months.

Approval for the Sun expansion comes just weeks after the company announced an all-time record level of turnover. Global revenues for the three months ending June 30, 2000, were just over $5 billion, the largest ever quarterly figures reported by the company.

Scott McNealy, Sun’s chief executive officer, said: “At the end of the day, the numbers tell the story regarding customer acceptance of our products and services. Our vision, focus and execution are the driving forces behind this record setting year.”

He added: “Sun’s position as one of the internet’s leading innovators has never been stronger. Our belief is that everything with a digital or electronic heartbeat will one day be connected to the internet and often to Sun servers.”

Those Sun servers power some of the biggest websites around the world from search engines such as Excite to online bookseller Amazon.

The company has also won acclaim for its links with Hollywood; Sun provided the all-important computing power for both “Toy Story” movies.

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 $15.7 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.

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

Helen Keir, Communications Manager
Sun Microsystems Scotland BV
Tel: 01506 672789
e-mail:helen.keir@uk.sun.com

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