Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) will today be sown with a variety of native Scottish plant species, to create a wildflower meadow at the Innovation Parc.

Young learners from Barnhill Primary School and others from the MSIP community will take part in a seed sowing event, that will create a series of meadow areas on the Innovation Parc that will bloom throughout the summer months.

This is part of a wider Eden Project National Wildflower Centre initiative to bring colour and biodiversity to the city with the planting of a series of wildflower meadows covering 14 hectares of land across Dundee.

Funded by the Alexander Moncur Trust, who are celebrating their 75th anniversary, the project directly addresses the decline of natural wildflower meadows that support bees and other pollinating insects. Species sown today will flower in late summer and will include native local provenance species such as corn chamomile, poppy, oxeye daisy and red campion.

Ten further sites have been identified by Dundee City Council, as part of the City’s biodiversity grasslands initiative, and will be developed and maintained through the Nature Restoration Fund, with Eden Project supporting the training and narrative building. 

The planting programme is part of Eden’s commitment to the city ahead of the opening of Eden Project Dundee in 2025 and delivers on MSIP’s ambition to maintain a connection to the local community as well as raise awareness of climate action.

This project follows on from the previously announced strategic partnership between Eden Project and MSIP.

Caishlan Sweeney, Project Engagement Manager, Eden Project said: “We’re delighted to be working with MSIP to introduce these important wildlife habitats as part of our continued work in Dundee., Sowing wildflowers is a fantastic way to introduce children and adults to the diversity of nature and begin to build a new connection to it.”

Sarah Petrie, Innovation Director, MSIP said: “The creation of a wildflower meadow will add to the variety of habitats available on the Innovation Parc for wildlife to thrive.

“We want to provide a rich and varied working environment for people to enjoy at MSIP, and we believe that the wildflower meadow will add to that, stimulating new innovations as a result.

“It’s great to be able to include local young learners and our MSIP community in the building of this, something that they can all hopefully benefit from in the years to come.”

Hydrogen technology company Arcola Energy Ltd will bring up to 135 jobs to the former Michelin site in Dundee over a three-year period, after securing a £1.5million grant from Scottish Enterprise.

The company, which specialises in fuel cell technology integration, will be one of the first tenants at the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) – a joint venture between Dundee City Council, Michelin and Scottish Enterprise on the former tyre factory site to become a world-leading sustainable transport hub.

The Regional Selective Assistance grant will allow the company to progress plans to create a new engineering and manufacturing facility at MSIP in the months ahead. The first phase will bring in around 20 employees to support the Scottish hydrogen train project and product development for hydrogen-powered vehicles, with the remainder being recruited over the next three years as Arcola expands production at the site. Arcola also has a rail engineering facility at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and plans for a service centre in Glasgow.

Arcola CEO Dr Ben Todd said: “We were attracted by MSIP’s ambition to become a leading hub supporting the decarbonisation of Scotland’s transport system and infrastructure, and in particular by the hydrogen production and fuelling facility that MSIP is building to support development and deployment of zero-emission vehicles.  We are very pleased to be an early part of it.

“This new facility will be Arcola’s main manufacturing base, supporting our growing business needs as we expand our range of heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles.”

The company’s new Dundee facility will support their work in adapting heavy-duty vehicles and transport applications to zero-emission, hydrogen-powered solutions, supporting Scotland’s ambitions for a net zero carbon emissions economy.

Andy McDonald, Head of Low Carbon Transition at Scottish Enterprise, said: “This announcement is obviously great news for the company and the people of Dundee, but also in terms of the growth of our sustainable mobility sector.

“The creation of MSIP has been a huge step in supporting the growth of this sector and Arcola will be a really exciting addition to the facility, as well as a real boost to the efforts towards establishing Scotland as a world leader in sustainable mobility.”

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “The Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc vision is to be a world class centre of sustainable mobility and low carbon energy. We want Scotland to lead the way in developing and manufacturing the technologies of the future and MSIP will be vital in helping us achieve this.

“This announcement is another positive step forward for MSIP and Dundee as a hub for the green jobs that will be vital to our post-pandemic recovery.”

MSIP CEO Greig Coull said: “When MSIP was established, jobs creation was the priority and that is still the case. Our ambition is to have 850 jobs located at the Innovation Parc by 2028. Today’s announcement is a big step towards achieving that. “I’m pleased Arcola has recognised MSIP as the best place to grow its business. I’m sure the people of Dundee will join me in welcoming this news and I look forward to seeing the impact that Arcola will have at MSIP, but also across the City and Scotland over the coming years.”

Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) has become an accredited Living Wage employer, announced today as part of Living Wage Week (9-13 November), an annual celebration of the Living Wage in the UK.

It’s Living Wage commitment ensures that all directly employed staff and regular contractors are paid the real Living Wage – a rate that is independently calculated yearly based on the amount required to cover workers everyday needs. MSIP has announced they will also encourage new business tenants operating at the Innovation Parc to consider the real Living Wage, to maximise local benefit from the real Living Wage.

The new Living Wage rate for the UK was announced earlier in Living Wage Week and is now £9.50 per hour. This is 78p higher than the national living wage, which is the legal minimum that applies to workers from the age of 25. A full-time worker earning the real Living Wage will earn over £1500 per year compared to the UK governments national living wage.

The accreditation of MSIP follows the launch in 2019 of plans to make Dundee a Living Wage city, when an alliance of prominent employers in the city joined forces to promote the benefits of the real Living Wage to more employers. Starting from a baseline of 51 accredited employers, the Living Wage City effort has seen an increase in Dundee employers signing up for accreditation.

MSIP is the 77th Living Wage employer in Dundee and joins a local movement of accredited Living Wage employers including Dundee City Council, Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, Xplore Dundee, Abertay University, Thorntons Law, V&A Dundee, and DC Thomson.

Greig Coull, CEO, Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc said: “Since MSIP was established in 2019, the values of our core partners have helped to shape the culture of MSIP, and that includes the principles of fair work and being a real Living Wage Employer.

“As well as paying our direct and indirect staff at least the real living wage or higher, now and in the future, we also aspire to create an environment at our Innovation Parc where those that locate here will also pay the real Living Wage.

“Our goal is to create 850 jobs by 2028, and we hope that most if not all of those will earn the real Living Wage.”

Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “It’s great news that Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) has become an accredited real Living Wage Employer. This is a positive announcement and shows that real progress is being made at MSIP.

“These are incredibly difficult times for businesses and employees, and ensuring that employees are paid the Living Wage remains hugely important.

“We remain committed to achieving our ambition of making Dundee the first Living Wage City and this takes us a step closer.”

Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills said: “The Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc will be a key asset in our drive to achieving our net-zero emissions target. I am always pleased to hear about newly accredited Living Wage employers, especially during Living Wage Week, and I congratulate Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc on achieving Living Wage Accreditation.

“It will now join more than 1,890 accredited employers who pay at least the real Living Wage to their workers, demonstrating their commitment to fair work practices.”

Lynn Anderson, Interim Manager at Living Wage Scotland said: “City-wide efforts to make the real Living Wage the expected norm in Dundee are strengthened when prominent employers demonstrate leadership and become Living Wage accredited.

We are delighted that MSIP, as a prominent employer based in Dundee have confirmed their Living Wage status for workers. Their accreditation is a significant contribution to Making Dundee a Living Wage City and to the broader Living Wage movement.”

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said: “The Living Wage accreditation of MSIP is a signal of their commitment to raise awareness of the importance of the real Living Wage, and to help set the standard for businesses in Dundee.

“Workers need a wage that meets their everyday needs, but too many workers in Dundee and across Scotland are locked into poverty.”

“I hope that more follow the lead of MSIP and join the growing movement of businesses and organisations that are going further to ensure workers and their families have what they need to thrive.”