By Ben Simmons

GSK today confirmed that it will invest more than £500m in the UK across its manufacturing sites to increase production of key active ingredients for its pharmaceutical products and vaccines.

The company announced selection of Ulverston in Cumbria as the location for the first new GSK manufacturing facility to be built in the UK for almost 40 years. Investment will also be made at the company’s two manufacturing sites in Scotland at Montrose and Irvine. In total, it is anticipated these investments will create up to 1,000 new jobs over the lifetime of the projects and will also benefit the wider construction industry and the many companies which supply GSK with services and facilities in the UK.

These investments represent one of the largest commitments to the UK life-sciences sector in recent years. They follow confirmation by the Government in the Budget yesterday that it will implement a ‘patent box’ to encourage investment in R&D and related manufacturing in the UK, by introducing a lower rate of corporation tax on profits generated from UK-owned intellectual property.

“This is excellent news, a major investment that will create many highly skilled jobs and provide a great boost to the economy,” commented Prime Minister David Cameron. “It shows why we are right to cut business tax and focus on making the UK a dynamic and competitive place that can attract exactly this type of high tech investment. We have a world class life sciences industry, and I am determined not just to keep it here in the UK but significantly increase it too. We cannot be complacent, the industry is changing, and we must change with it. Our innovative life sciences strategy and ground breaking patent box are already making a difference, helping to grow this important industry and ensure the great discoveries of the next decade happen here in British laboratories.”

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