Life Science’s Minister George Freeman MP visited Charnwood Campus in Loughborough today to meet the team responsible for the transformation of the world-class pharmaceutical site, and to discuss its potential role in strengthening the local economy. His visit coincided with the publication of a new report, ‘Transforming Life Sciences Sites – a toolkit for action’ by a group of senior stakeholders from across the UK¹.
During his tour, the Minister was briefed on how the anchor tenant, Almac Group, is upgrading the facilities to provide office and laboratory space, analytical testing, formulation development, and small and large scale manufacturing facilities. Senior Almac representatives presented further detail on their projected £16 million investment in facilities on the site that will see the creation of approximately 180 jobs in the next 5 years.
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP said: “Converting the site at Charnwood to a new cutting edge life-sciences facility is a huge success story for Loughborough and the Midlands Engine. Almac’s decision to invest in the UK underscores the region’s reputation in life sciences and will protect the local talent and expertise to help drive economic growth and improve healthcare for all.”
Charnwood Campus – Gosia Khrais Charnwood, Graeme McBurney Almac, George Freeman MP Life Sciences Minister, Nicky Morgan, Loughborough MP
Commenting on today’s meetings, Gosia Khrais, Commercial and Marketing Director for Charnwood Campus said: “We really appreciate the Minister’s interest in our progress at Charnwood Campus. We have transformed and recommissioned these remarkable facilities, and with the support of our local partners, and MP Nicky Morgan, we have now created the kind of campus where larger innovative companies such as Almac can thrive.”
Almac Pharma Services Managing Director, Graeme McBurney, commented: “We are delighted that the Minister continues to take great personal interest in both the Charnwood site and wider Almac Group activities. For us, Charnwood provides Almac with high quality, bespoke facilities that fully complement our existing pharmaceutical development and analytical laboratories in Craigavon, allowing us to meet future client and industry needs. With contracts signed, detailed planning has been completed and facility re-commissioning and equipment procurement activities have commenced. Additionally, recruitment of local management and operational teams has also begun, in line with our projection of being operational by Quarter 1 2017.”
Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan said: “I’d like to thank George for coming to visit Loughborough and the wonderful Charnwood Campus. The developments at the Campus are extremely exciting and it was great to hear that new jobs are being created as a result of Almac’s investment in the site. I know that George was impressed by the plans and he is looking forward to seeing Charnwood Campus develop as a world class site for life science companies.”
Site Director Dominic Young, commented: “Today’s publication of the new report into major site transformation is timely given our ambition to turn this Campus into an attractive, world-class destination for a new generation of life science companies. We are working with our public and private sector partners to make a strong case for inward investment into Loughborough, and are currently in discussions about several buildings with both national and international companies.
This isn’t just about providing first-class laboratories and offices, but also about creating a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who will work and collaborate together.”
Companies moving into Charnwood Campus will have access to an extensive choice of conferencing and catering facilities, site reception and helpdesk, business support programmes, a gym, and communal meeting spaces. The Campus is set in attractive parkland and has extensive parking facilities and onsite security.
¹Transforming Life Sciences Sites – a Toolkit for Action
With the support of George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, a group of leaders in the sector have come together to collate existing knowledge and expertise of repurposing and growing the UK’s life science sites into a single point of reference for all actors in the life science sector and beyond.
The toolkit, targeted at both the public and private sector, seeks to provide a single first source of information and advice for all those involved in supporting the growth of life science sites in the UK. It shares best practice from case studies; provides key questions and issues to consider; and lists further sources of information and support. Crucially, the toolkit seeks to provide the information and questions needed to begin conversations between different stakeholders, and provide details of further sources of guidance and support.