By BridgeNews GlaxoSmithKline PLC will close sites and cut jobs in its UK pharmaceutical manufacturing operations and the consumer manufacturing assets it acquired with the purchase of Block Drug Inc. The company plans to close its site at Speke, Liverpool over the next three years, cutting up to 500 jobs. The site manufacturers CFC-containing asthma inhalers, which haven't been in high demand since the implementation of the 1995 Montreal Protocol to ban the use of all ozone-depleting substances. Also, the company will transfer certain operations at its Barnard Castle site in County Durham to other sites and will cut up to 400 jobs at Barnard Castle over the next three years. The company will sell its site at Montrose, Angus, which currently employs 720 people. Over two years the company will close two former Block consumer healthcare manufacturing sites at Plymouth, Devon, and Puerto Rico, resulting in cuts of 170 and 275 jobs, respectively. The company also will cut 110 jobs at the former Block/Stafford Miller manufacturing site in Dungarvan, Ireland. "These proposals follow a detailed review that examined every aspect of our site network, and implementing them would significantly reshape and improve our manufacturing business," says Tim Tyson, president of Global Manufacturing & Supply, GlaxoSmithKline. "GlaxoSmithKline remains strongly committed to the UK. The company employs over 25,000 people here -- around a quarter of its global workforce -- and conducts over 40% of its research & development in the UK."