‘Hun­dreds of jobs’ at £5m medicines hub

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

A£5M in­vest­ment has the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate hun­dreds of new jobs for Mac­cles­fied, the coun­cil leader has claimed.

Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne vis­ited Redx phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals at Alder­ley science park to an­nounce a new fund for a medicines tech­nol­ogy cen­tre on Mon­day.

The money will be used to cre­ate a ‘cat­a­pult’ cen­tre, which would see sci­en­tists and busi­nesses work­ing to­gether to bring drugs to mar­ket more quickly.

Cheshire East coun­cil leader Michael Jones said the new cen­tre would cre­ate about 50 jobs, grow­ing to many hun­dreds into the fu­ture.

He said: “It’s bril­liant news. The cen­tre will be a con­glom­er­ate of qual­ity ex­perts in the field, work- ing to­gether to make a leap for­ward in drug de­vel­op­ment.

“That ben­e­fits ev­ery­one in the coun­try. It al­lows us to con­tinue to de­velop the Biohub at Alder­ley Park.

“Cheshire East is the gate­way to the north­ern pow­er­house.

“This will lead to more jobs and growth and we are de­ter­mined to achieve our am­bi­tion to cre­ate 7,000 new jobs in the com­ing years.

“Two years ago some were in the depths of de­spon­dency af­ter As­traZeneca an­nounced its with­drawal from Alder­ley Park.

“Now we can smile again and look for­ward to a bright fu­ture on the world stage.”

Mr Os­borne said the move helps put Alder­ley Park at the cen­tre of his ‘North­ern Pow­er­house’ – a term he uses to de­scribe the gov­ern­ment bid to boost the econ­omy in the north.

Cat­a­pult cen­tres were launched in 2011 to bring busi­nesses and re­searchers to­gether, with the aim of help­ing start-ups bring ideas to mar­ket that might strug­gle be­cause of a lack of fund­ing, ex­per­tise or fa­cil­i­ties.

Mr Os­borne said: “It’s a real vote of con­fi­dence in the north west. The North­ern Pow­er­house is the best place for it.”

The Tat­ton MP added: “The day As­traZeneca told me they were think­ing of mov­ing hun­dreds of jobs away from Alder­ley Park was one of my most dif­fi­cult days as an MP and chan­cel­lor.

“I couldn’t have imag­ined then that out of that piece of bad news would come so much good news.”

In March 2013 As­traZeneca an­nounced its plans to stop re­search and de­vel­op­ment at the site.

Since then the 400-acre site has been taken over by Manch­ester Science Part­ner­ships – with a 10 per cent stake owned by Cheshire East – to cre­ate a new bio­science hub.

Jon Parker Lee

●● Ge­orge Os­borne dur­ing his visit to Redx phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Si­mone and El­liott have been in­un­dated with of­fers of help

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