YESTERDAY marked the end of an era as bosses at Dundee’s Michelin factory announced they had produced its last ever tyre.

In 2018 it was announced the site, which first opened in 1971 and employs 850 people, would close for good this June. That date has now been brought forward as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, bosses said.

The machines at the Baldovie plant were switched off on Monday as employers decided to close until April 13 to help slow the spread of the virus, however it was later agreed that doors would remain closed permanently. The firm said restarting production before June would be “unviable and unwise”.

Factory manager John Reid said the safety of his employees remains his priority.

He continued: “This is an unexpected end to tyre production at our factory, but we believe this is the best decision for our employees and their families.

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“We will be developing a new employability programme to help people find their next positive destination, be that retirement, further education or a new job.”

He continued: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank our team in Dundee for their support and hard work during what has been a very challenging time.”

Bob MacGregor, Unite regional industrial officer, said it was sad that the closure had been moved forward but acknowledged the company had acted responsibly.

He said: “It’s a very sad day for the people of Dundee that 50 years of tyre production at the Michelin plant has come to an end before the summer when it was scheduled to finish.

“However, we want to recognise that Michelin has acted as a responsible employer throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and has agreed to pay the workers their full wages up until the summer.

“Unite continues to work with the company to find a long-term future through the repurposing of the plant. As one chapter comes to an end, we hope that another one will begin and hundreds of jobs can be retained on site.”