Glaxo invests £275m to expand three UK manufacturing sites and reaffirms confidence in the UK's pharmaceutical market despite Brexit vote

Francesca Washtell
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GSK's investment will support its respiratory products including inhalers (Source: Getty)

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced it will plough £275m into expanding three of its UK manufacturing facilities and has shrugged off post-Brexit vote concerns in the domestic pharmaceuticals market.

The pharmaceuticals giant said the investment will boost production and support the delivery of its respiratory and large molecule biological medicines, the "vast majority" of which will be for export to global markets.

The largest investment will be in Montrose in Scotland, where £110m will go towards a new, state-of-the-art facility for the manufacture of respiratory active ingredients.

GSK will also put £92m towards an aseptic sterile facility for new biopharmaceutical assets in Barnard Castle, County Durham, while £74m will boost the manufacturing capability of its Ellipta respiratory inhaler at Ware in Hertfordshire.

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The company already has a significant manufacturing presence in the UK, employing approximately 6,000 people at nine sites.

In a statement today, GSK reaffirmed its confidence in the UK's pharmaceuticals market despite last month's pro-Brexit referendum result, saying it is "an attractive location for investment in advanced manufacturing due to a number of factors including the skilled workforce, technological and scientific capabilities and infrastructure and a competitive corporate tax system".

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Chief executive Sir Andrew Witty said: "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."

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Witty said he will stand down from the helm of the pharma giant in March next year after nearly a decade at the firm.

In April, GlaxoSmithKline reported sales rose to £6.23bn, up 11 per cent, in the first quarter on last year, generating core earnings per share (EPS) of 19.8 pence.

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