£75m deal se­cures fu­ture of AZ site

Macclesfield Express - - MACABRE MACCLESFIELD – PART THREE - STU­ART GREER

THE fu­ture of the As­traZeneca site in Hurds­field has been se­cured af­ter bosses an­nounced plans for a £75m state of the art pack­ing and ware­house fa­cil­ity.

The new build­ing will con­sist of hi-tech pack­ing lines for tablets and cap­sules and an au­to­mated ware­house.

The in­vest­ment se­cures 300 jobs cur­rently at the pack­ing depart­ment.

The con­struc­tion of the mas­sive 30m tall ware­house – which starts in the New Year – is also ex­pected to cre­ate around 150 con­struc­tion jobs.

The in­vest­ment adds up to a to­tal of £197m that the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals gi­ant has com­mit­ted to the town’s plant for a new ster­ile pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity and the re­fur­bish­ments of two other build­ings for its IT cen­tre and medicine de­vel­op­ment.

Marc Jones, re­gional vice-pres­i­dent for As­traZeneca said the in­vest­ment con­firms ‘the sig­nif­i­cance of Mac­cles­field as a ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity and the com­mit­ment of the com­pany to the North West’.

Wel­com­ing the in­vest­ment David Rut­ley, MP for Mac­cles­field, said: “It is a real vote of con­fi­dence in Mac­cles­field and in our highly skilled work­force. The de­ci­sion is a real boost to the lo­cal econ­omy and strongly sup­ports the Cheshire Science Cor­ri­dor strat­egy.

“I am most grate­ful for all the hard work of the As­traZeneca team in Mac­cles­field for making this pos­si­ble.”

Andy Evans, site man­ager, said the move had ‘fu­ture­proofed’ the Mac­cles­field site which turns 50 years old next year.

He said: “The pack­ag­ing plant which em­ploys around 300 peo­ple is quite an old fac­tory. This is a big in­vest­ment to up­grade them and se­cure the site’s fu­ture.

“This in­vest­ment could have eas­ily been moved to else­where in Europe. This is really good news for the town.

“It is be­cause of the great job that has been done by ex­ist­ing staff that has al­lowed us to se­cure the site’s fu­ture.

“I ex­pect many of the 150 con­struc­tion work­ers and con­trac­tors will be from the town.

“Nat­u­rally, all the work will be un­der­taken in such a way as to en­sure con­ti­nu­ity of sup­ply of medicines to pa­tients. We will also make sure there is the min­i­mum of dis­tur­bance to our neigh­bours.”

Plan­ning for the ware­house – which will be built on an now re­dun­dant ware­house and car park – was granted in Oc­to­ber. Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to take two years.

Char­lene Ram­sell

●● As­traZeneca’s old site in Hurds­field is to be con­verted into a £75m pack­ing and ware­house cen­tre

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