Pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline announced today that it will invest £500m in the UK including building a new production facility, the firm’s first in the UK for 40 years.
GSK is to locate the new factory in Cumbria and predicts that its planned investment will lead to the creation of 1,000 new jobs.
The investment announcement comes just one day after the 2012 Budget in which Chancellor George Osborne revealed plans to cut the cost of patents in the UK, specifically in order to encourage inward investment from players in the life sciences industry, such as GSK.
A spokesperson from GSK described the plans as “one of the largest commitments to the UK life-sciences sector in recent years,” and admitted that it only confirmed the investment following Mr Osborne’s promises yesterday.
The total cost of the new plant, to be based in Uverston, Cumbria, is estimated at £350m.
Construction will begine in 2014/15 but it is not expected that GSK’s new facility will be operational until 2020.
GSK now employs around 240 people in Ulverston where it manufactures materials for antibiotics.
Other sites likely to benefit from the total planned £500m include GSK’s Irvine and Montrose plants in Scotland. £100m has been set aside for these locations.
Commenting on the investment, Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: “This £500 million programme of investment from GlaxoSmithKline is excellent news for our economy and our life sciences industry. It will drive growth, stimulate innovation and create highly skilled jobs across the country.”