A Tyneside microchip plant backed by two tranches of government money is to be closed with the loss of 600 jobs and sounding the death knell for the vision of a semiconductor sector in north-east England. The Daily Telegraph. Financial Times

US-owned Atmel is to sell the plant and land of the Silverlink, north Tyneside, which was formerly occupied by German electrical giant Siemens.

Atmel, which designs and manufactures microcontrollers, memory and radio frequency components for sale worldwide, has now sold the site to property company Highbridge Business Park and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for a combined total of $124m (£61m). The equipment will be shipped to Taiwan, signalling the end of semiconductor production on the site.