Atmel closes Tyneside factory

American-owned microchip company Atmel is to close its factory in Silverlink, North Tyneside with the loss of 600 jobs.

Alan Clarke, the chief executive of RDA One NorthEast said: ‘Today’s announcement is very disappointing for the workers and the region. It comes after many months of protracted negotiations between Atmel and potential purchasers.

‘We have met with Atmel US senior executives and potential purchasers over many months to reiterate One NorthEast’s support for the business going forward. But ultimately, the sale of Atmel was a commercial decision taken by the company.’

A group of public sector organisations, consisting of One NorthEast, Job Centre Plus, Business Link North East and the North East Chamber of Commerce and led by North Tyneside Council, will act to help find work for the displaced employees.

The factory will be sold to a business park developer and the equipment to a Taiwanese company for £66m in cash.