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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Scots Firms lead Manufacturing of Ventilators for Coronavirus

Two companies based in Scotland which are part of Babcock International Group are designing and producing ventilators to ensure the NHS and social care sector have the support and equipment needed to tackle COVID-19.

Babcock will manufacture 10,000 ventilators. As well as working on a brand new prototype, a team of engineers and specialists has set up a supply chain from scratch with a team working night and day and has enlisted a number of manufacturers to help with assembly and production.

As part of this effort, Plexus, which is leading other ventilator programmes, and Raytheon UK, will both support ventilator production from their Kelso, Livingston and Glenrothes manufacturing facilities.

The SNP Government has welcomed the involvement of these firms as they join a number of internationally renowned companies focused on accelerating ventilator capacity across the UK.

Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee MSP said:

“I welcome the announcement by Babcock to produce 10,000 ventilators and I am very proud that Scottish based companies like Plexus and Raytheon UK are playing their part in this crucial supply chain.

“These companies are at the vanguard of efforts to manufacture more ventilators as part of UK-wide efforts to tackle COVID-19. Plexus and Raytheon UK have been supported by Scottish Enterprise to facilitate their involvement in vital efforts to increase capacity and both the SNP Government and Scottish Enterprise remain in contact to provide any operational support they require.

“Ventilators are hugely complex devices that normally require time to be designed and tested, so the speed with our companies have responded to push forward sizeable production is commendable. They and their staff are working round the clock and are a credit to Scottish manufacturing.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“While we know social distancing works, we also know we haven’t reached the peak of the coronavirus pandemic yet.

“Sadly, people are still contracting the virus, becoming very ill and dying every day across Scotland and the UK.

“While it is difficult to understand why the UK Government never accepted the EU’s offer to be included in its joint medical supply procurement programme three weeks ago, we have to work with the situation we are now in.

“I am grateful that Scottish companies have stepped up to the plate and are at the forefront of safely producing this vital equipment, helping to save lives.”


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