AstraZeneca commits £120m to Macclesfield factory

PHARMACEUTICAL group AstraZeneca will invest £120m extending its factory in Macclesfield which makes the prostate cancer drug Zoladex.

The company said the investment will secure 300 jobs and create 200 temporary role during construction work at the site which should be finished in 2017.  

The announcement is also significant as it underlines the company’s long-term commitment to the region seven months after saying it will close its longstanding Cheshire research base at Alderley Park and move 1,600 jobs elsewhere.

Zoladex has been made in Macclesfield for more than 25 years and is supplied to around a hundred markets. It is the company’s fifth largest selling brand with annual sales of around $1bn.

David Smith, vice president of operations, said: “Zoladex is one of AstraZeneca’s leading cancer drugs, supplied to patients across the globe. This new facility will support the continued production of this important medicine in the UK.

“Having considered a number of options globally, we believe it is the right choice to build the new facility in Macclesfield, which has been home to Zoladex manufacturing – and the expertise that goes along with it – for many years. This investment is a further signal of our long term commitment to the UK, and to the North West.”

Chancellor George Osborne, an MP in the neighbouring Tatton constituency, said: “This is great news for our local community which will save and create hundreds of manufacturing jobs. Macclesfield MP David Rutley and I fought really hard along with the local council and local people to achieve this.

“This investment could have gone anywhere around the world – the fact it has come to Macclesfield shows what a superb site it is. It comes on top of the hundreds of new jobs being created on the Alderley Park site by new business after the difficult news there earlier this year. It’s a real vote of confidence in East Cheshire.”