£75m deal secures future of AZ site
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.
●● AstraZeneca’s old site in Hurdsfield is to be converted into a £75m packing and warehouse centre