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Fujitsu will today announce the closure of its fab in Newton Aycliffe in the north east of England, barely six weeks since a Siemens fab in the area shut. The news will come to a blow to government ministers, already reeling from the impact of other real and potential cuts in inward investment. Fujitsu will blame the closure of the state of the art complex on the poor state of the semiconductor market, and coming hard on the heels of the merger of Hyundai and LG Semicon, further difficulties for this country could lie ahead. Opposition spokespeople blamed the strength of the pound as a reason for the closure. Fujitsu is expected to announce it will repay £100 million the previous Tory government gave it in loans to open up the plant. ®

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