A RECORD £65 million rescue deal has saved hundreds of jobs at Greenock's Texas Instrument plant.

US firm Diodes has stepped in to take over the semiconductor site, three years after owners TI announced they were pulling out of Inverclyde.

The Tele understands the global manufacturer will invest around £50m while at the same time the Scottish Government and Inverclyde Council have arranged a £15m support package.

The breakthrough comes just four months before the Larkfield plant was due to close with what would have been a catastrophic loss of 300 top end engineering and manufacturing jobs.

Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe, who led the task force set up to save the plant, hailed the news as he paid tribute to the workers who have faced huge uncertainty over the last three years.

Councillor McCabe, who chaired the group to secure a new buyer, said: "I am delighted that all the hard work has come to fruition.

"This has taken a long time to get to this point and there have been many ups and downs along the way.

"It is a very good day for Inverclyde and a really crucial outcome.

"The firm has made a big commitment to invest.

"It is a fantastic outcome for the taskforce.

"It is also a huge achievement for the Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and also the council officials.

"I would also like to pay tribute to the workforce who kept focused on the job while all the uncertainty was going on around them.

"They are undoubtedly the biggest asset the plant has got.

"The location is also undoubtedly a factor as well."

Diodes has pledged long term investment and all workers will transfer when they complete the takeover deal.

A design unit attached to the former National Semiconductor plant in Larkfield had previously shut down after the closure plan was announced by Texas Instruments in January 2016.

In what was a bombshell for the community at the time, they said they were moving work to Germany, Japan and the US.

A taskforce was was immediately set up to try and find a buyer.

Scottish business minister Jamie Hepburn was on board along with Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International, Skills Development Scotland and the DWP.

Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan, regional MSPs and local councillors were all part of the group.

There have been a number of false dawns with a number of potential buyers losing interest.

The stake were high as a study found that around 600 jobs, directly and indirectly, were reliant on the site.

Councillor McCabe added: "As I have said before, 300 highly skilled and good quality manufacturing jobs in Inverclyde is like a bigger area losing thousands of jobs.

"This is about protecting existing jobs and creating jobs in the future for young people, with apprenticeships as well.

"It is one of Inverclyde's biggest employers outside the public sector.

The Scottish Government will stump up most of the fifteen million pounds in support

"We have had a lot of blows over the years so this is something really positive.

"It is also significant at a time when Brexit is causing huge uncertainty

Diodes chief executive and president Dr Keh-Shew Lu has welcomed the Greenock factory into the company.

He added: "Diodes extends our appreciation to the Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and Inverclyde Council, who have worked to facilitate this transaction.”

Business minister Mr Hepburn said: "The positive approach we have taken has helped support this outcome and securing these jobs in Greenock would be a terrific result for all involved."

Scottish Development International's Paul Lewis added: “We have worked closely with Diodes, Texas Instruments and our public sector partners to bring this project to a successful resolution.

"Securing these jobs in Greenock is a terrific outcome for all involved.

"We look forward to working with the team at Diodes to help them achieve their growth plans for Scotland.”