GSK Montrose plant opens £44m vaccines facility

Nicola Sturgeon opened the new facility Picture: Scott Louden
Nicola Sturgeon opened the new facility Picture: Scott Louden
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A new £44 million vaccines facility has been formally opened by the First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon attended the ceremony at GSK’s (GlaxoSmithKline) site in Montrose, Angus, on Tuesday.

The facility will produce ingredients for vaccines for illnesses such as tetanus, pneumonia and whooping cough.

Ms Sturgeon said: “GSK is a global leader in medicine and their continued investment in Scotland further enhances our reputation as a location of choice for inward investment from global life sciences companies.

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“This is GSK’s first sterile manufacturing facility in Scotland and this latest expansion in their operations is a boost for our life sciences industry.

“GSK has been in Montrose for more than 60 years, and I am delighted they chose this site as their dedicated vaccines facility. As well as creating very highly-skilled jobs, the site will also be critical to helping to vaccinate millions worldwide against preventable diseases.”

The facility, which includes a microbiology laboratory, will manufacture sterile aluminium salts - compounds that boost the human body’s response to vaccines.

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The Scottish Government said the opening of the facility follows GSK’s announcement of a £29 million investment to support the manufacture of medicines for respiratory illnesses at Montrose, bringing the overall investment in new manufacturing in the area and its antibiotics operation at Irvine, North Ayrshire, to nearly £342 million since 2012.

GSK Montrose site director Les Thomson said: “Today’s ceremony is all about people - more than 20 million people a day rely on what we manufacture here at Montrose. All of us on site are driven by the knowledge that what we do really makes a difference for patients.

“We manufacture the active ingredients for a range of GSK medicines for patients with conditions including respiratory illnesses and HIV. With this new facility, we’ll be making a key ingredient for approximately 70% of our vaccines portfolio, protecting against diseases such as pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.”