£75m AstraZeneca investment hailed in Cheshire East

CHESHIRE East Council’s deputy leader Cllr David Brown has warmly welcomed news that pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca is to invest £75m in the Borough.

The money will pay for a state-of-the-art packing and warehouse facility at the company’s base in Hurdsfield, Macclesfield – and help secure the future of the site’s 3,500 staff.

This news highlights the continued success of the life sciences sector in Cheshire East – coming just two years after AZ announced its decision to relocate the majority of R&D jobs from its Alderley Park site to Cambridge.

AZ’s regional vice president Marc Jones said the news “confirms the significance of Macclesfield as a major manufacturing facility”.

Cllr Brown said: “This is fantastic news and a real vote of confidence in Macclesfield, its highly-skilled workforce and in the whole of the bio-science sector in Cheshire East.

“This significant investment will not only help secure skilled jobs and give a real boost to the local economy but also strongly supports the Council’s vibrant Cheshire Science Corridor strategy.

“AZ’s Macclesfield site is a key asset in the Cheshire Science Corridor – accounting for more than one per cent of total UK exports – and part of the Borough’s thriving life science sector, which employs more than 7,000 people.”

The news follows the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement last month that the Government would provide £4m to establish a centre of excellence at Alderley Park to spearhead research into anti-microbial resistance (AMR). He also revealed that Alderley Park would form part of a new hi-tech science Enterprise Zone spanning Cheshire and Warrington.

September also saw the launch at Alderley Park of a £30m Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund, which included a £5m investment by the Council.

In July, it was announced 450 jobs had been created by 28 companies at Alderley Park since AZ announced its intention to relocate its R&D.

The new facilities announced for Hurdsfield will be built on the site of an existing warehouse and will feature packing lines for tablets and capsules and an automated warehouse.

Demolition work has already begun and construction of the new facility will begin early next month.

The company has also recently invested in a new sterile production facility at its Macclesfield site.