GSK: UK still ‘attractive’ post Brexit as it invests £275m
GlaxoSmithKline is to invest £275m to expand its UK manufacturing sites, saying the country remains “an attractive location” despite Brexit.
The pharmaceutical firm, whose chief executive Sir Andrew Witty backed the Remain campaign, said the UK’s skilled workforce and competitive tax system helped drive the decision.
It said most of the products made at the expanded sites would be exported.
The firm said it expected its investment to create jobs.
“It is testament to our skilled UK workforce and the country’s leading position in life sciences that we are making these investments in advanced manufacturing here,” said Sir Andrew.
The firm said the investment would be spread across three of its UK manufacturing sites: Barnard Castle in County Durham, Montrose in Angus, and Ware in Hertfordshire.
GlaxoSmithKline currently employs 16,000 people in the UK, 6,000 of which are employed in manufacturing.
There were some fears that pharmaceutical firms such as GSK and AstraZeneca may seek to move their headquarters following the outcome of the EU referendum.
Sir Andrew had said prior to the vote that leaving the EU “would create uncertainty and potentially add complexity” for the UK’s life sciences sector.
Responding to GSK’s announcement, the Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark said: “An investment of this scale is a clear vote of confidence in Britain and underlines our position as a global business leader.
“GSK’s recognition of our skilled workforce, world leading scientific capabilities and competitive tax environment is further proof that there really is no place better in Europe to grow a business.”