GSK to Open First British Manufacturing in 40 Years

The lower rate of tax on profits generated from British-owned intellectual property helped GSK view Britain favorably.

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (IW1000/88) will open a new production site in northern England, the company said on July 22, citing the government's budget as a key reason for the investment.

GSK will open a biopharmaceutical facility at Ulverston, Cumbria -- its first new British manufacturing plant for almost 40 years -- as part of £500 million (US$790 million) of investment.

The pharmaceuticals group added that it will also plough more cash into its two manufacturing sites in Scotland, at Montrose and Irvine.

Glaxo added that the announcement followed budget measures that were aimed at encouraging investment in research and development. Finance minister George Osborne confirmed on March 21 that he would implement a so-called "patent box", or lower rate of tax on profits generated from British-owned intellectual property.

"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," said GSK chief executive Andrew Witty.

"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."

The announcement was welcomed by British Prime Minister David Cameron. "This is excellent news, a major investment that will create many highly-skilled jobs and provide a great boost to the economy," he said.

"It shows why we are right to cut business tax and focus on making the UK a dynamic and competitive place that can attract exactly this type of high-tech investment.

"We have a world-class life sciences industry, and I am determined not just to keep it here in the UK but significantly increase it too.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

See Also
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