PLANS are in place to keep the closure-threatened Greenock Texas Instruments factory opened for another year — safeguarding nearly 400 local jobs.

The Tele understands the global semiconductor manufacturing company has signed off on a 12-month extension to keep the Larkfield Industrial Estate site in operation beyond its planned closure in 2019.

In January last year, the American-based firm announced it was pulling the plug on its Greenock operations in favour of switching production to ‘more cost-effective’ sites in Germany, Japan and the US.

Around 365 people work at the factory and and officials said there would be no job losses before late 2017.

Site manager Gerry McCarthy added that the planned closure was ‘not a reflection’ on the ‘performance or commitment’ of the staff.

But a source has now told the Tele that ‘the closure timetable has been extended’ for the Greenock site for another year.

Nobody from the company was available for comment.

Another source says the decision has been prompted by an upturn in business for the firm.

They said: “They’ve got a year’s extension on what they had, so a further 12 months.

“The industry must be busy enough.”

Earlier this year it was feared all hope had gone to save the Greenock factory, which has been up for sale.

Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe, who heads up a task force which was set up to try and rescue the facility, had issued an update in June saying a ‘sale was ‘unlikely’.

It is still unclear what the company’s year-long extension to operations in Greenock means for the long-term future of the manufacturing plant.

The Tele contacted several people at the company’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and an executive responsible for European media affairs based in Germany to ask for a response but we received no answers to our enquiries.

Staff at the Greenock factory also declined to comment and referred us to the press office in America.