Pharmaceutical giant Merck picks London for new HQ

 
Helen Cahill
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The announcement comes ahead of the government's Industrial Strategy (Source: Getty)

Pharmaceutical giant Merck has chosen central London as the site of its new headquarters.

The company’s hub will be home to 150 new researchers, and 800 additional staff. Merck’s other European clinical operations will also move to the site from the company’s current headquarters in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.

The American pharmaceutical business has started to look at possible locations for the centre, which is set to open in 2020. Merck said it chose London because the city will facilitate its work with researchers both in the UK and in Europe.

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“We believe London to be a unique bioscience centre of excellence and a key component of the established golden triangle for academic science of London-Oxford-Cambridge,” said Louise Houson, managing director, Merck in the UK and Ireland.

Merck chose London as part of a life sciences sector deal with the government.

The government will announce four such sector deals today along with its Industrial Strategy White Paper. Other deals have been struck with the construction, artificial intelligence and automotive industries.

The new partnerships with the government are backed by co-investment from the private sector.

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Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “We are an open, flexible economy, built on trade and engagement with the world. We have a competitive business environment with a deserved reputation for being a dependable and confident place to do business, thanks to our high standards, respected institutions and a reliable rule of law.”

The Industrial Strategy will also seek to fix the UK’s productivity problems, Clark said.

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