A £1.46 MILLION research and development grant will help GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) look to a secure future in Montrose, Scottish finance secretary John Swinney said this week.
Mr Swinney visited the local factory on Monday to announce the grant, made by Scottish Enterprise, and meet the key members of staff involved in research and development projects.
The grant will help to secure the site’s future as a new product development centre, creating 25 new jobs and helping to safeguard 280.
During his tour of the site, Mr Swinney welcomed GSK’s commitment to the area and Scottish Enterprise’s support for the company.
He said: “The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies are doing all we can to build sustainable economic growth for Scotland.
“This investment by GlaxoSmithKline in Montrose is looking towards the future and I’m encouraged that a world leading company is showing this commitment to the area.
“Scotland is globally renowned for innovation, enterprise and technology. The quality and skills of our workforce in life sciences have played an important part in the company’s decision, as has the research excellence of our institutions and the competitiveness of our business environment.
“The hard work by our partners at Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International also deserves praise. They have built-up an excellent understanding of this company and provided the most relevant support when required.”
The grant was welcomed by Montrose site director Andy Ross who said the funding will support key elements of the factory’s future development.
He said: “The financial support in the form of a research and development grant from Scottish Enterprise will enable us to provide the right people, plant and expertise at a critical time for GSK Montrose, as we look introduce improved processes to maintain our global cost-effectiveness.
“The projects which the grant will support form a key part of our future development and sustainability.”
Linda Hanna, director of company growth at Scottish Enterprise, also said that in the current economic conditions, it is critical that companies continue to innovate, allowing the Scottish economy to maintain its competitive edge.
She commented: “This R&D grant will allow GlaxoSmithKline to do just that, by increasing efficiencies and introducing new products to its Montrose site.
“Grant support is an integral part of the overall support from Scottish Enterprise to the company through our account management approach. By working closely with the management team, we have developed a mutual understanding of how we can focus our help to assist them to achieve their global growth objectives through increased investment and commitment to their operations in Scotland.”
Local politicians have also believe the grant will help the Montrose factory weather the economic storm both locally and on the wider scale.
Angus MP Mike Weir said: “This grant underlines the importance of GSK’s Montrose facility not only to the local economic but to the future of the economy of Scotland
“The investment in research and development in Montrose also demonstrates the importance that the company places in the local facility and its workforce.
“Innovation in industries such as pharmaceuticals is vital in tackling the current economic situation and it is clear that GSK and the Scottish Government are working well together in developing for the future.”
Local councillor Mark Salmond also said the investment is a “vote of confidence” in GSK’s Montrose operation.
He said: “I’m delighted by the visit to Montrose by John Swinney and his announcement of a £1.46 million investment by Scottish Enterprise for research and development.
“This is a vote of confidence in the Montrose factory and the workforce, and I hope it strengthens the case for the main prize of a £500 million bio-farm project which the Montrose factory is being evaluated for, along with three other UK factories.”