GSK pledge to invest in UK manufacturing

Pharmaceutical firm GSK has announced that it will invest £275m in to its manufacturing plants in the UK.

GSK's corporate headquarters in Brentford, London
GSK’s corporate headquarters in Brentford, London.

According to GSK, the investment is aimed at boosting production and support delivery of its latest innovations in respiratory and large molecule biological medicines, with the majority of the products produced for export to global markets.

The pharmaceutical giant has nine sites in the UK and currently employs around 6,000 people. GSK believes that the UK’s skilled workforce, the technological and scientific capabilities of the country and its competitive corporate tax system make it a appealing location to manufacture and do business from.

One of the schemes, the Patent Box, is meant to encourage investment in R&D and related manufacturing in the UK by delivering a lower rate of corporation tax on profits generated by UK-owned intellectual property.

CEO of GSK, Andrew Witty commented: “Today’s announcement reflects further investment to support our pharmaceutical pipeline and meet growing demand for our innovative portfolio of newly launched products.

“It is testament to our skilled UK workforce and the country’s leading position in life sciences that we are making these investments in advanced manufacturing here. From their manufacture in the UK, many of these medicines will be sent to patients around the world.”

GSK new UK investment:

  • Barnard Castle (County Durham) is one of GSK’s biggest secondary manufacturing sites, employing 1,100 people. The site supplies nearly half a million packs of products a day to 140 global markets. The£92m investment announced today will fund the construction of an aseptic sterile facility supporting the manufacture of existing and new biopharmaceutical assets.
  • Montrose in Angus (Scotland) manufactures active ingredients for respiratory, HIV and vaccine products and employs more than 450 staff. This investment of approximately £110m will provide a new, advanced facility for the manufacture of respiratory active ingredients.
  • Ware (Hertfordshire) employs 1,200 staff, manufacturing respiratory products. Today’s investment of £74m will support further expansion of the company’s new  respiratory inhaler through additional manufacturing capacity at the site.

In addition to jobs associated with the construction of the new facilities, today’s announcement will support current employment at these three sites and is expected to lead to the creation of new employment opportunities. 

BEIS - Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark.

The move may help to allay fears that large manufacturers, such as GSK would shift their operations abroad after the Britain voted to leave the EU on June 23.

The investment has been praised by the Government, with Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Secretary, Greg Clark noting: “An investment of this scale is a clear vote of confidence in Britain and underlines our position as a global business leader.

“GSK’s recognition of our skilled workforce, world leading scientific capabilities and competitive tax environment is further proof that there really is no place better in Europe to grow a business.”