GSK to build new U.K. site, create up to 1,000 jobs

Good news for the U.K. coming from GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) today. The pharma giant said it will build a new facility in Ulverston, Cumbria--its first new U.K. facility in about 40 years--to boost production of ingredients for its meds and vaccines. 

The new facility is part of a more than £500 million ($790 million) investment the company is making in the U.K. Part of the money is earmarked for two manufacturing sites in Scotland. In total, the company expects the investments will lead to the creation of 1,000 jobs.

The Ulverston facility alone will bring 500 permanent jobs plus hundreds more during construction, which is due to start in 2014 or 2015, according to the drugmaker. The plant should be up and running about 6 years later.

GSK's announcement comes after the government confirmed it will implement a "patent box" to encourage investment in R&D and related manufacturing through a lower rate of corporation tax on profits generated from U.K.-owned intellectual property. This move could encourage pharma companies to do manufacturing in the U.K. rather than in lower tax places like Ireland and Singapore, Reuters noted.

Local leaders were quick to express enthusiasm about GSK's plans. "They're setting up shop in a wonderful part of the world, and it's the best bit of news for the Cumbrian economy we've had in recent years," Cumbria County Council rep Eddie Martin said, according to The Independent.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce head Rob Johnston called GSK's move "massive" for the area and could potentially attract top-notch graduates as well, according to the BBC.

"The £100 million investment in Irvine and Montrose is fantastic news for these communities and our life science sector," added Scottish Secretary Michael Moore in a statement. "Ayrshire and Angus have a proud track record in making life-enhancing medicines and vaccines."

Although GSK had long discussed building its plant in the U.K., the announcement comes as a win for Prime Minister David Cameron, who had been pursuing pharma companies after Pfizer's ($PFE) decision last year to shut its research center in Sandwich, England, Reuters noted.

- see the GSK release
- read the BBC report
- check out more from The Independent
- get the Reuters story