United Kingdom
North East; Northumberland and Tyne and Wear; Tyneside
Location of affected unit(s)
North Tyneside
Manufacture Of Computer, Electrical Electronic And Optical Products
Manufacture Of Computer, Electronic And Optical Products
26 - Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products

600 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
9 October 2007
Employment effect (start)
1 April 2008
Foreseen end date


Atmel, an American firm that produces microchips, is to close its factory in North Tyneside with the loss of 600 jobs. The plant is due to close in the spring of 2008. The factory building is to be sold to a business park developer, whilst the equipment at the factory will be sold to a Taiwanese firm. The planned closure is also controversial due to the fact that Atmel has received millions of pounds of UK Government funding. The firm received a Regional Selective Assistance Grant of 28 million GBP in 2000. However, a spokesman for Atmel has stated that due to the closure the 19.9 million GBP already received by the firm will be returned to the UK Government. Alan Campbell, Labour MP for Tynemouth, stated:

‘The future of more than 600 people, the victims in this, has been sealed by a commercial decision made thousands of miles away. Atmel's decision now… shows how global decisions made thousands of miles away can impact on local communities. People will be asking whether it's not now time to look at what more can be done to encourage the development of local companies who are more loyal to our area.’

Davy Hall, regional official of the Unite union, said:

‘This is a devastating blow for the region and for British manufacturing. These are high-quality jobs which are now disappearing.’


  • 9 October 2007: BBC News


Eurofound (2007), Atmel, Closure in United Kingdom, factsheet number 65913, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/65913.