Life Sciences Boost Northern Economy

At a meeting in Parliament with Dr Hakim Yadi, Chief Executive of the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), local MP, David Rutley, has given his strong support to NHSA’s work to promote the opportunities provided by life sciences and health innovation to build a healthier and wealthier North.

David and Dr Yadi are working to highlight how the life sciences sector plays a vital role within the Northern Powerhouse, including in and around Macclesfield. With AstraZeneca’s site in the town, Macclesfield is fortunate to have the UK’s largest pharmaceuticals site based in the community. 3,000 people are employed there and the site accounts for just under one per cent of all goods exported from the UK, making the town a key part of the Cheshire Science Corridor and the ambitious Northern Powerhouse agenda.

The meeting took place ahead of a Northern Powerhouse Business Summit, ‘Great Futures’, in July, supported by the Government, at which the NHSA revealed that the value of the North’s life sciences economy has grown from £9.2 billion in 2016 to £13.6 billion in 2017 – a rise of 48 per cent over the last year. The Northern Powerhouse is home to 21 per cent of the total UK Life Science sector workforce, 19 per cent of the UK biopharmaceutical sector workforce, 22 per cent of the UK Medical Technology Sector workforce and 29 per cent of the UK Digital Health workforce, and the number of companies in Life Sciences in the Northern Powerhouse has grown by 755 since 2017.

The NHSA is a partnership established by the leading Universities and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England to improve the health and wealth of the region, by creating an internationally recognised life science and healthcare system. It links eight leading universities and eight research-intensive NHS Teaching Trusts with four Academic Health Science Networks, covering a population of over 15 million.

Speaking after their meeting, David said, “I am grateful to Dr Yadi for taking the time to meet with me once again. As we see locally with the AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, life sciences play a key role within the economy of the North. By supporting the vital research and development undertaken across our area, we can help create more jobs and drive investment in our local economy. I will continue to actively work with NHSA to support these vital aims going forward.”