In today’s announcement by AstraZeneca, the company set out its plans to continue to retain a strong presence at its Macclesfield manufacturing site.
After the statement, David Rutley MP said, “I welcome AstraZeneca’s continued commitment to its site in Macclesfield. The manufacturing and packaging site is a vital part of our local economy and it is important for the 1,800 employees and their families that their jobs have been safeguarded for years to come.”
The announcement also set out AstraZeneca’s plans to relocate its research and development function from Alderley Park to Cambridge. In response, David said, “Clearly, the pharmaceutical industry is going through a global restructuring with many patents expiring, which is why fundamental changes are being made to the way that research and development is being taken forward. AstraZeneca’s decision to move its R&D function to Cambridge from its Alderley Park site is in response to these global trends.”
He continued, “Sadly, this will create uncertainty for employees at Alderley Park, many of whom live in the Macclesfield constituency. So, our first thoughts are with them and their families, and as local MPs both George Osborne and I have been in active dialogue with AstraZeneca about the support that will be available to provide careers advice and review career options.”
“The next priority is to ensure that there is a sustainable and successful future for the Alderley Park site, itself. I am pleased that following discussions with George Osborne, the company has decided to retain at least 700 employees at the site. The creation of a new Task Force by the Government and AstraZeneca is another important step in developing plans for the site’s future. We are all determined to make sure that the area retains a strong science skills base.”
Over recent months, initial plans for a Bio-science Hub at Alderley Park have already been developed, with applications having been made to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). These plans have attracted strong interest from small and medium sized businesses in moving to the site. Evidence from other R&D centres in similar situations, such as Charnwood and Sandwich, also indicates that there will be real opportunities for spin-off businesses at Alderley Park in the months ahead.
David went on to say, “George Osborne and I will continue to work closely with the Task Force, AstraZeneca and Cllr Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, to accelerate the development of a new Bio-science Hub. It will also be important for an enhanced RGF bid to be submitted by the Task Force in the near future. These positive steps will help ensure that there is a sustainable future for the Alderley Park site in the years ahead.”