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Tim Farron: GSK should leave 'dowry' for site's future investment and jobs

GSK pulled out of a planned £350million investment in the Ulverston site Credit: GSK

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has called for pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to leave a dowry behind to make future investment in the site more attractive for a potential buyer and to support local jobs.

This week GSK shocked the area by pulling out of a planned £350million investment in the Ulverston site which would have supported hundreds of local jobs.

Tim Farron says the local community is still reeling from the news:

People feel betrayed and many residents are understandably concerned about the impact on jobs. GSK should commit to leaving a substantial dowry of several million pounds, to show good faith to the local community.

Leaving even a fraction of the £350million that GSK would have invested would help to support local jobs and partially compensate local residents for this blow. Our local community has shown deep commitment to GSK. GSK must now show an ongoing commitment to our community. Anything else will be an appalling betrayal.”

– Tim Farron, South Lakeland MP

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South Lakes council 'shocked' at GlaxoSmithKline's Ulverston investment back out

GSK will no longer be investing in its Ulverston site Credit: GSK

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) say they are 'shocked and disappointed' at pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKine's (GSK) decision to pull out its investment from its Ulverston site in Cumbria.

SLDC’s portfolio holder for the economy, Councillor Graham Vincent, said the news was a blow. He said the council's concern now is to understand the implications for the future of the current site and the existing GSK employees in Ulverston.

The SLDC's chief executive spoke to GSK management who have said there will be no immediate impact on the existing workforce and the site does remain profitable. The council have said they will assist the company in finding a buyer, to continue the operation of the facility, should they decide to sell up.

We have been in meetings and discussions with GSK in the last few weeks about unrelated matters and there was no suggestion that this announcement was on the horizon. We will work with the company, the local MP, town, county and district councillors and Cumbria LEP to offer whatever support is necessary.

– Councillor Graham Vincent, South Lakes District Council Economy Portfolio Holder

GSK Statement on new jobs

GSK today confirmed that it will invest more than £500m in the UK across its manufacturing sites to increase production of key active ingredients for its pharmaceutical products and vaccines.

The company announced selection of Ulverston in Cumbria as the location for the first new GSK manufacturing facility to be built in the UK for almost 40 years.

  • In total more than £500m of investment confirmed, creating up to 1,000 new jobs.
  • Includes £100m investment for GSK manufacturing in Scotland.

The introduction of the patent box has transformed the way in which we view the UK as a location for new investments, ensuring that the medicines of the future will not only be discovered, but can also continue to be made here in Britain. Consequently, we can confirm that we will build GSK’s first new UK factory for almost 40 years and that we will make other substantial capital investments in our British manufacturing base. In total, this will create up to 1,000 new jobs over the lifetime of the projects.

– Sir Andrew Witty, Chief Executive, GSK

Investment will also be made at the company’s two manufacturing sites in Scotland at Montrose and Irvine. In total, it is anticipated these investments will create up to 1,000 new jobs over the lifetime of the projects.