Despite new investments GSK to scrap factory plans

Manufacturer of pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare product, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced to restructure UK business due to manufacturing shake-up.

GSK's corporate headquarters in Brentford, London
GSK’s corporate headquarters in Brentford, London – image courtesy of GSK.

The company, with headquarters in Brentford, plans to invest more than £140m at its Ware, Hertfordshire, Barnard Castle, Co Durham and Montrose, Scotland sites from now until 2020, mainly to support expansion for production of respiratory and HIV medicines.

This new investment is in addition to the £275m the firm announced last year, and represents a total investment of over £1.2b in UK manufacturing since 2012.

On the flipside, GSK has reported to close a number of its 9 UK manufacturing sites producing for the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare business, resulting in more than 300 job cuts.

Roger Connor, president of GSK Global Manufacturing and Supply said: “We have a substantial manufacturing presence in the UK and continue to support the network with new investment of more than £140m in the next 3 years.

“At the same time, we have had to make some decisions which we know will cause uncertainty for some of our employees. We will do all we can to support them through this process.”

GSK is to restructure its pharmaceutical business, with an option to sell manufacturing facilities in Ulverston, Cumbria, Verona in Italy and part of its Barnard Castle site. The company has also scrapped the initial investment plans to build a new biopharmaceutical facility in Ulverston.

Regarding the consumer healthcare business, GSK seeks to sell both its Horlicks and MaxiNutrition brands in the UK, with a combined annual sale of around £30m. This decision does not impact the Horlicks brand in India or south East Asia which accounts for most Horlicks global revenues.

The proposals to close the sites in Worthing and Slough will result in a reduction of approximately 320 permanent jobs over the next four years.

GSK has confirmed that none of the announcements made have been a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.