The drugs firm AstraZeneca today made good its pledge to commit its future to its Macclesfield plant with the announcement that it plans to invest £120 million in a new facility at its global manufacturing site there.
The investment means that the global pharmaceutical giant wikll continue production of Zoladex, an injectable treatment for patients with prostate cancer. The company said the investment would secures 300 existing Zoladex jobs at the site and create 200 temporary jobs during the construction and commissioning phase between now and early 2017.
Earlier this year, AstraZeneca promised a future for Macclesfiled when slashing 550 jobs at its plant jobs a few miles away at Alderley Park where it is closing its research and development centre in favour of a re-location, over a three-year period, to a new £330m research base being built in Cambridge.
Zoladex has been manufactured at Macclesfield for over 25 years and, the company said “continues to be an important asset in AstraZeneca’s oncology portfolio and is currently the company’s fifth largest selling brand with annual sales in the region of $1 billion”.
The company’s David Smith, vice-president of operations, said: “This new facility will support the continued production of this important medicine in the UK. Having considered a number of options globally, we believe it is the right choice to build the new facility in Macclesfield, which has been home to Zoladex manufacturing – and the expertise that goes along with it – for many years. This investment is a further signal of our long term commitment to the UK, and to the North West.”
Commenting on the new investment, Chancellor George Osborne (pictured, right) said: “This is great news for our local community which will save and create hundreds of manufacturing jobs. ”
Copyright Ken Hurst 2013