Montrose still in running for £500million

GSK's assessment team visited the local factory last week.

GSK's assessment team visited the local factory last week.

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GLAXOSMITHKLINE’S (GSK) local factory is still in the running for a potential £500million investment which could create up to 1,000 jobs in the area.

A team of assessors visited the Cobden Street site last week to consider its suitability for new manufacturing facilities to create drugs using the latest biotechnology.

The company announced in April that Montrose is one of four sites, and one of just two in Scotland, in contention for the major investment.

It is also considering Irvine in Ayrshire as well as Ulverston and Barnard Castle in the north of England.

During the visit the site’s management were joined by officials from Angus Council, Scottish Enterprise and Dundee University to push the case for the town.

A GSK spokesman said: “We are currently assessing the four facilities as a possible site for a new unit to produce biopharmaceuticals.

“The GSK assessment party have been going around those four sites. On Tuesday the team visited Montrose and were given a series of presentations and a tour of the site production buildings and the laboratories.”

The move has been prompted by a change in legislation which will favourably off-set corporation tax against products developed and patented in this country.

The manufacture of some of the company’s steroidal products for the treatment of skin conditions has already been reintroduced to the Montrose plant to supply another of its divisions. GSK bought over the dermatological company Steifel in 2009 and the local factory manufactures the active ingredients used in skin treatments for conditions such as eczema.

It is also poised to transfer biomanufacturing of several products to Montrose from one of its factories in India.

Councillor David May, Angus Council economic development spokesman, said council officials and GSK management have spent a “considerable amount of time” preparing for the visit and to make a case for Montrose.

He said: “I believe the presentations we very useful and I certainly have great hopes we’ll be successful as the economic benefits for the town and Angus will be considerable. What counts in our favour is the reputation to GSK of the hard work put in by Montrose staff at the present time. That’s one of the positive messages going out to GSK nationally, that Montrose is a good place to locate.”