DUNDEE, England —The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a recent meeting of the action group formed to redevelop Group Michelin's Dundee tire plant, which is earmarked for closing in 2020.
The Michelin Dundee Action Group aims to secure a long-term future for the Scottish site and develop new jobs for many of the 845 people employed there.
Prince William and Kate Middleton joined the group's discussions and met Michelin workers and their families to hear how they are being affected by the impending site-closure.
The action group was reviewing its progress with initiatives ranging from workforce-transition and retraining of staff to low-carbon-energy and sustainable-mobility projects
These measures are part of a plan to transform the site into a Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc for new economic and employment opportunities.
Scotland's economy secretary Derek Mackay thanked the royal couple "for recognizing the collaborative approach we have taken to secure a long-term future for the Michelin Dundee site."
A memorandum of understanding signed with Michelin "confirms our shared aim to secure a long-term future for the site and to generate significant employment there," Mackay said.
"We are honored to have been able to present to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge our vision for the future of Michelin in Dundee," said Jerome Monsaingeon, in charge of the 'Michelin-Scotland alliance' for the tire maker.
Following the meeting, Prince William praised efforts "to find a constructive way forward" and develop the site into a manufacturing, recycling and low-carbon transport hub.
Noting the collaborative approach being adopted, he said: "I am optimistic that a good outcome is possible with the site at Michelin.
"I am encouraged by the fact that this task force has been established, and that all the key players are represented."