Plymouth's Plessey Semiconductors shares £4.1million Government grant helping it create more than 100 Plymouth jobs
MANUFACTURER Plessey Semiconductors is to share a £4.1million Government grant – which could create more than 100 jobs in Plymouth.
The Roborough-based firm has been selected to benefit from a scheme designed to strengthen advanced manufacturing supply chains.
It will work with Oxford's Zeta Controls Limited on a £5.5million project called Indigenous Sustainable Manufacturing Supply Chain for Solid State Lighting.
The two companies will benefit from a Government cash injection which will allow them to create 41 jobs.
It has not been decided how this will be split, but Plessey explained that the cash will bolster a Regional Growth Fund (RGF) grant it received last year, which means it will be able to plough ahead with plans to create more than 100 jobs during the next two to three years.
The company will also use the money to help it develop hi-tech lighting systems.
The supply chain cash, which will be supported by £1.4million injected by the two firms, still has to pass Government due-diligence tests.
But Plessey's finance director Chris Bailey said: "We are confident."
With a global focus on efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, Plessey, which has about 135 staff in Plymouth, is bringing to market a range of high-brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs) for use in Solid State Lighting, which uses electroluminescence, as opposed to incandescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes.
The RGF cash allowed the firm to establish a production line, the new money will enable it to develop its supply chain working with other UK firms.
The company is also moving from creating the chips that go into the lighting, to producing entire lighting systems, and eventually reducing the cost from about £25 per unit to £5.
It is also a huge step forward for a firm that was formed from a management buy-out of what was then the X-Fab plant, in 2009.
The new operation initially downsized and made redundancies in late 2010.
But Mr Bailey said: "We will now be building the workforce back up again."
The LED scheme is one of 12 around the country which will benefit from a total of £213million of Government and industry investment, aimed at creating and safeguarding more than 16,000 jobs.
Announcing the funding, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "This investment will secure Britain's future as a world leader in both traditional and new technologies.
"This programme is a welcome boost for Plymouth-based Plessey Semiconductors, which will work with an innovative low-energy lighting company in Oxfordshire, bringing down the cost of next generation LED lighting."
The scheme involves more than £73million of Round 2 Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) cash being given to the dozen supply chain projects.
A further £140million will be invested by businesses.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Government is working in partnership with industry through initiatives like Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative to strengthen the UK's advanced manufacturing base and ensure British jobs are created."