COUNTY Durham has lost out to Cumbria to be the location of a major new manufacturing site for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The multinational company is to build a £350m biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant at Ulverston in Cumbria as part of a new £500m investment in the UK, which it says will create around 1,000 jobs.
Its sites at Barnard Castle in County Durham and Irvine and Montrose in Scotland were also in the running for the new factory but Cumbria was judged to have the best sterile processing skills, technical capability and existing links with local suppliers and academic partners.
However, GSK plans to set up a dermatology manufacturing centre of excellence in Barnard Castle as part of the new investment and is also putting additional money into its Scottish sites.
The Cumbrian factory will be the first new site that the pharmaceuticals giant has set up in the UK for 40 years.
The company said it was investing in the UK again following measures announced in yesterday’s Budget, creating a ‘patent box’ to encourage investment in R&D and related manufacturing in the UK, by introducing a lower rate of corporation tax on profits generated from UK-owned intellectual property.
GSK chief executive Sir Andrew Witty said: “The introduction of the patent box has transformed the way in which we view the UK as a location for new investments, ensuring that the medicines of the future will not only be discovered, but can also continue to be made here in Britain.
“Consequently, we can confirm that we will build GSK’s first new UK factory for almost 40 years and that we will make other substantial capital investments in our British manufacturing base.
“In total, this will create up to 1,000 new jobs over the lifetime of the projects. We are also actively considering other investments in our UK manufacturing network which would create further jobs and reinforce the UK’s international competitiveness and as a world leader in life sciences.”