ALMOST 300 Scottish jobs are likely to be axed by a blood management firm after bosses announced plans to shift production to Malaysia.

US-owned Haemonetics (UK) Limited yesterday announced it is to consult its 270-strong workforce over the future of its site in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire.

The firm, which supplies blood and plasma related products around the world, is hoping to move to a new plant currently under construction in Penang.

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It will mean the closure of the Scottish facility, 20 years after it opened, later this year or early in 2015. Haemonetics, which supplies a range of blood and plasma-related products to health services across the world, said affected workers would be dealt with in a "respectful and sensitive way". A briefing to inform staff took place yesterday.

In a statement, it said: "This new facility, expected to be completed next year, is intended to offer Haemonetics much improved proximity to customers in its fastest growing markets and to a number of key suppliers and medical equipment manufacturers.

"In recent years, the balance of products manufactured in Bothwell has been shifting toward Haemonetics' Asia-Pacific markets.

"This shift, as well as the benefits of consolidating manufacturing in one state-of-the-art facility, close to a growing number of suppliers in a lower cost area, has led the company to propose ending manufacturing operations at the Bothwell facility and to supply the European region, as well as Asia-Pacific, from Penang."