By Karen Peattie

Two manufacturing companies with facilities in Scotland – Plexus and Raytheon UK – are part of an effort led by defence engineering group Babcock International to design and produce more ventilators for the NHS across the UK as it tackles coronavirus.

Babcock, which owns and operates complex marine engineering infrastructure at Rosyth in Fife and also manages the Clyde naval base at Faslane, has stepped up to lead on the design and production of 10,000 ventilators for the NHS in response to the UK Government’s request for help from industry.

In addition to working on a brand new prototype, a team of Babcock engineers and specialists has set up a supply chain solution from scratch, enlisting several manufacturers to help with assembly and production.

Plexus and Raytheon UK are both be supporting the production of ventilators from their manufacturing facilities in Kelso, Livingston and Glenrothes.

Scotland’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee, said: “Ventilators are hugely complex devices that normally require time to be designed and tested, so the speed with which Plexus and Raytheon UK, as part of the Babcock supply chain, have responded to push forward sizeable production is commendable.”

Meanwhile, the CBI has urged businesses in Scotland to join the “battle” to produce protective equipment for the NHS and frontline workers.

CBI Scotland director Tracy Black called on organisations with the skills and expertise that could be harnessed to get involved, and confirmed that a business call will take place on Wednesday, April 15, to help co-ordinate a “collective action plan”. Those interested are asked to sign up on the CBI website where there are further details.