News in brief

Buyout bid fails

An attempted management buyout of Siemens’ Tyneside semiconductor plant has failed. Trade and Industry minister Stephen Byers said theGovernment will continue to try to finda new owner for the plant, which closed at the end of January.

Fighter costs more

Lockheed Martin faces reported cost overruns of over £60m in its X-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) demonstrator programme, in which BAe is its partner. The cost hikes include more than £18m each in accounting errors, a costlier engine lift fan and £18 24m in under-estimated new technology costs.

Pay slow down

EEF Figures out next week will show that engineering pay settlements have fallen for the third month in a row. Data for the three months to January is expected to show average pay rises of about 2.4%, down from 2.6% in the period to December and 2.8% in the three months to November.

Pilkington power

Scottish Power has signed a deal with Pilkington for a £15m energy-efficient power system that will save the glassmaker £1ma year. The deal involves building three combined heat and power plants at Pilkington’s St Helens plant.

Welsh cash

Welsh Business development will get £83m this year a £4m rise on last year Welsh Secretary Alun Mitchell said on Monday. It includes £63m of Regional Selective Assistance to help 1,000 new entrenpreneurs. Small business and enterprise support is up from £11m to £13m.

Virgin can sign

Virgin has completed the financing for its £1.25bn train order for the West Coast Main Line. The deal, backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland, allows Virgin to formally sign contracts ordering 53 tilting trains.

See Railways, p22