Michelin is advancing the closure of its Dundee factory in Scotland from June this year, with the site not restarting production when coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

The French supplier had initially planned to pause production until 13 April, when it intended to restart manufacturing until the plant’s eventual closure in June.

The decision has been taken in agreement with the Unite union and all employees will continue to be paid at their normal rate until the end of June.

Output was already extremely low when machines were turned off on 23 March maintains Michelin. Stocks of the tyre sizes made by Michelin Dundee are high and they are not used by critical services such as ambulances.

In addition, there were concerns bringing many people together in a workplace could create safety issues.

In line with previous commitments, there will be intensive job search and well-being support available to all employees – although most of this will now be online to reduce risk.

“Our priority remains the safety of our workforce,” said Michelin Dundee factory manager, John Reid. “This is an unexpected end to tyre production at our factory, but we believe this is the best decision for our employees and their families.

“We will be developing a new employability programme to help people find their next positive destination, be that retirement, further education or a new job.

“We’re also conscious some people will find being confined to their homes tough, so well-being support will continue to be important. We will be using technology and social media combined with a limited presence on site until the virus allows more normal working.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our team in Dundee for their support and hard work during what has been a very challenging time.”