Cisco ditches Scottish factory merger

The telecoms manufacturer denies that the move will cost Glasgow thousands of high-tech jobs, and insists it was never planning to build a Euro HQ in Scotland

Cisco has denied claims that its decision not to merge two Glasgow factories into one operation will cost thousands of high-tech jobs, at a time when Scotland's IT sector is still recovering from last year's bloodbath of redundancies.

The firm had been planning to combine the two plants, which are located in Bellshill and Cumbernauld -- both near Glasgow -- into one major facility. However, it emerged on Monday that this plan has been shelved.

The news was greeted with dismay north of the border, as many people believed Cisco had been planning to create a European headquarters in Glasgow. The company insists this was never the case, though.

"We had been planning to consolidate our Bellshill and Cumbernauld factories, but we've now reassessed our real-estate needs and decided to keep them both separate," a company spokeswoman told ZDNet UK. "There was never any plan to create a European headquarters in Glasgow," she added.

Some reports have suggested that Cisco's decision will cost the region at least 2,000 high-tech jobs, but the company has denied that this is the case. Nevertheless, union officials have already expressed their disappointment.

In the last 12 months Scotland has been hit by the closure of a number of technology factories. Motorola provoked criticism from government ministers when it shut its plant at Bathgate, which employed over 3,000 people.

Chipmaker NEC was also forced to cut 600 jobs from its Livingstone fabrication plant.


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