PHARMACEUTICAL giant GlaxoSmithKline today announced a £25 million investment at its Montrose plant in a major boost for the economy of the Angus town.
The investment, which will be used to expand its operations in Montrose to support the delivery of a range of new medicines, is expected to lead to the creation of 25 new jobs for process technicians, engineers and chemists at the plant which already employs a workforce of around 300.
An additional 50 contractors will be employed during the construction phase.
The new investment will be in addition to GSK’s pledge last year to invest £100 million in Montrose and the company’s other Scottish manufacturing site in Irvine. Scottish Enterprise is backing the expansion plan by providing £1.5 million funding to Angus Council to improve access to the site.
Today’s announcement also marks a turnaround for the plant which shed 450 workers in 2011 as GSK looked to sell the facility on as a going concern.
John Swinney, the Scottish Finance Secretary, visited the plant this morning for the investment boost announcement. He said: “GSK’s investment is testament to the skill of the Scottish workforce and illustrates the confidence international companies have in Scotland as a country to invest in.
“Montrose has the infrastructure, experience and skills to deliver success for GSK and the company’s commitment to Scotland is further positive news for financial enterprise and the wider Scottish economy. “
Roger Connor, President of Global Manufacturing and Supply for GSK, said the announcement was a vote of confidence in the GSK Montrose workforce. He continued: “Our teams in Montrose and Irvine are world class and have worked hard to bring new facilities to the two sites. This investment shows how highly we value our teams in Scotland.
“Our people here in Montrose manufacture the primary ingredients that then go forward to be put in inhalers, pills, capsules and injections for patients across the globe. Montrose will work alongside our sister site in Singapore to meet international demand for some of the world’s most important medicines.
“Ours is a fast-moving and competitive environment and the investment should be seen as a vote of confidence in the skills, standards and drive of the people who work here.”
Councillor Iain Gaul, the leader of Angus Council, also welcomed the new investment at the plant. He said: “This investment is of immense importance to the town of Montrose and the wider economy of Angus. I’d like to commend GSK as it demonstrates their faith in the existing workforce and their commitment to the town to invest in the plant and attract new high-end jobs to the site.
“The investment from Scottish Enterprise will support our work to improve the roads in the area and further enhance the port’s reputation as a world-class location for business.
“We believe this project will help attract further inward investment to the area and support the existing companies to take forward investment plans.”
A Scottish Government spokesman explained: “In addition to the £2.7 million already ring fenced by the council, Scottish Enterprise is also backing the expansion by awarding Angus Council £1.5 million to improve access into the GSK site and the area around it.
“GSK is investing in new state of the art facilities and equipment to bring production of the ingredients for four new pharmaceutical products to Montrose.”
The Montrose plant currently produces active ingredients for a number of medicines in important disease areas such as respiratory and HIV/AIDS while the Irvine site produces antibiotics. These ingredients and products are exported globally and the sites are an integral part of GSK’s overall manufacturing network.