Tiny swims against tide

Tiny Computers Ltd. is moving its manufacturing base from the Far East to Scotland, despite the mass exodus of technology companies from the United Kingdom.

The PC firm will shut its all its current manufacturing facilities in China and move all operations to a plant in Prestwick, Scotland.

A spokeswoman for Tiny claimed that the high freight costs involved in shipping computers from the Far East to the United Kingdom was the main reason for relocating. She also cited the inconvenience of obtaining import licenses for components from the Chinese government as a factor in the move.

“It’s more cost-effective to have all our operations in the United Kingdom We’ll also have more flexibility to react fast to consumer demand,” said the spokeswoman.

Tiny has appointed Fullarton Computer Industries as the contractors to manufacture its PCs. Fullarton’s plant in Prestwick will be able to produce up to 3,500 PCs a day for Tiny. Production lines at the plant will start moving at the end of August, producing an initial 1,300 units per day. Tiny said the deal would create 160 new jobs at the plant.

Although the move is good news for those who had wondered if the IT world had utterly deserted the country, the decision to move to Scotland would seem to fly in the face of the recent trend to move IT manufacturing operations away from the United Kingdom.

Last week, Gateway announced its intention to shut its manufacturing base in the United Kingdom and Ireland following poor sales in Europe. Motorola shut its Bathgate plant in April, with the loss of 3,000 jobs.

But Tiny said sales were up at the company and it predicts it will produce over