Tech company to create 70 million face masks for NHS and care workers

A technology company in North Lanarkshire is to make 70 million face masks for health and care workers.

Honeywell has agreed a contract with the UK Government to manufacture the personal protective equipment (PPE) at its site in Newhouse, creating around 450 jobs.

Changes to its production lines mean the company will now be able to create 4.5 million masks a month.

They will be produced over an 19-month period beginning in early July.

Coronavirus – Fri May 1, 2020
Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the deal as ‘brilliant news’ (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “These 70 million masks are the result of our challenge to UK industry to scale-up domestic PPE manufacturing.

“This deal is brilliant news for the whole United Kingdom, which will not only deliver the masks we need but create around 450 jobs in Newhouse, Scotland.

“I’m delighted to team up with Honeywell to open up another avenue to get millions of masks to the front line and strengthen our ongoing response to the outbreak.”

Will Lange, president of Honeywell’s PPE business, said: “As a global leader of high quality personal protective equipment, Honeywell is committed to getting safety gear to those who need it most, including workers on the front line in the fight against Covid-19.

“Our Newhouse facility has both the physical capacity and technical capabilities to launch a large-scale respirator production line in such a short time frame and we are proud of our teams who are bringing new manufacturing capabilities to the UK as quickly as possible to support the country’s response to the pandemic.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “As well as creating 450 new jobs and boosting the local economy, it is great a company with manufacturing facilities in Scotland can help ensure our heroic front-line workers have the PPE they need to carry out their lifesaving work.

“Our UK-wide strategy is continuing to manage and supply protective equipment to the people that need it in all four nations.”

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