A company that makes PPE in Dumfries and Galloway has secured a multi-million pound contract with the Scottish Government, creating hundreds of jobs in south west Scotland.
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the news in her coronavirus press briefing on Thursday afternoon.
Annan-based company Alpha Solway has been awarded a £53 million contract to make PPE equipment, at its factory in Dumfries, for NHS Scotland staff until summer 2021.
It will create 200 jobs. That's on top of 50 jobs that have already been created here during the pandemic
The company will provide 232 million surgical face masks, two million visors and six million respiratory masks to help frontline workers.
The products will be used by those working in all types of health situations - from front line intensive care to community work and dentistry.
Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee said: “This is fantastic news for Dumfriesshire and for NHS Scotland. It is great that this substantial PPE order will be supplied by Scottish firm Alpha Solway.
“It delivers significant savings to the NHS as well as supporting vital jobs - both at Alpha Solway and at other Scottish businesses in their supply chain - and demonstrates that Scottish manufacturing is competitive on a global stage.
“The order also highlights that the proactive work undertaken during lockdown to bolster the COVID-19 supply chain is continuing to deliver real benefits in the form of higher employment, increased manufacturing activity and savings for our NHS.”
Alpha Solway director Steven Binnie, said: “Alpha Solway, part of Globus Group, is proud to be awarded this order to further support NHS Scotland during this incredibly challenging time. We are also delighted to announce that it allows us to create two hundred new jobs.
“NHS Scotland’s commitment to purchase critical PPE equipment from local manufacturers sends positive signals to businesses such as ours and gives us the confidence to continue investing in the local area. It enables us to do more in the fight against the impact of COVID-19, but in a way that lays positive, sustainable foundations for the future.”
Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell and MSP Oliver Mundell jointly welcomed the news of the company’s expansion, commenting they said: “This is finally some much needed positive news for the local economy and for local people.
“Alpha Solway have really delivered for our NHS during the pandemic and we are really glad to see their hard work rewarded.”