GSK site pulls out all stops in plant-investment competition

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) continues its effort to determine which U.K. manufacturing facility will get a planned £500 million ($790 million) investment. The company has short-listed four sites, and an evaluation team has visited one of them, the facility at Barnard Castle, County Durham, U.K., for an assessment inspection.

The investment is for a biomanufacturing plant that would "mark a departure from the traditional chemical manufacturing process widely used around the world today," as the North West Evening Mail noted in August.

"We'd planned the visit with military precision and everything went according to plan," said Andy Cockroft, Barnard Castle site director, as quoted in The Northern Echo. Cockroft invited the Durham County Council CEO, its head of economic development, and member of Parliament Helen Goodman to show the regional support for the project.

GSK has invested more than $126 million at Barnard Castle since 2006, in addition to a $40 million expansion, according to the story.

The other contenders are at Irvine and Montrose in Scotland and Ulverston, part of the South Lakeland district and about 90 miles north of Liverpool.

GSK will ask the short-listed locations over the coming months to provide more information, and further discussions are expected before a final decision is made early next year. Construction and commissioning will take about 5 years to complete.

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