New facility to produce 400 million vaccinations a year.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed GSK’s (GlaxoSmithKline) commitment to Montrose as she opened their new £44 million aluminium salts facility.
The site produces ingredients for vaccines for illnesses including tetanus, pneumonia and whooping cough.
The First Minister and her Cabinet are in Montrose to hold a public discussion at the Town Hall this afternoon, where they will hear issues raised by the local community.
The opening of the new facility follows GSK’s recent announcement of a further £29 million investment to support the manufacture of medicines for respiratory illnesses at Montrose, bringing the overall investment in new manufacturing in Montrose and its antibiotics operation at Irvine to nearly £342 million since 2012.
The First Minister 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.
“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.
“Scotland has an international reputation for expertise in this field, including the work of our research institutions. Earlier this year, we published our Life Sciences Strategy, which aims to increase this industry’s contribution to Scotland’s economy to £8bn, and GSK’s investment further accelerates our ambitions.
“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.”
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 approx. 70% of our vaccines portfolio, protecting against diseases such as pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.
“Montrose was able to be considered for this investment by GSK because we have the right mix of people and skills. We know Scotland is a good place to conduct research, development and manufacturing, and we’re pleased the Scottish Life Sciences Strategy demonstrates a shared commitment between the industry and Scottish Government to ensuring Scotland remains a great place to work in life sciences.”
Commenting on the successful investment, Scottish Enterprise Managing Director, Adrian Gillespie, said:
“GSK is an extremely important contributor to Scotland’s economy and the opening of this new vaccine facility is fantastic news for the company and the local community.
“Scottish Enterprise has worked closely with GSK for a number of years, helping them to secure a skilled workforce capable of harnessing the newest technologies to research, develop and manufacture innovative medicines.
“This expansion is testament to the strength of Scotland’s life sciences sector and to the confidence international companies have in the skill and value of the Scottish workforce, and we look forward to continuing to work with GSK to support its growth in Scotland.”
GlaxoSmithKline has been in Montrose since 1952, and employs 450 people, with a further 150 contractors. In 2019, when the aluminium salts facility is fully operational, a further 15 highly-skilled jobs will be created.
The facility, which includes a microbiology laboratory, will manufacture sterile aluminium salts – compounds that boost the human body’s response to vaccines. Previously sourced outside Scotland, GSK has chosen the Montrose site to produce these salts, which will supply GSK’s vaccines sites in France, Belgium and Singapore.