Pfizer to Close Two UK Sites
Major US drugmaker Pfizer has announced plans to close two of its three sites in the UK, although it insists the decision is not a result of Brexit, according to media reports. The announcement comes just days after a report by think-tank Public Policy Projects warned that the UK’s pharmaceutical industry could be hit hard by the decision to leave the EU.
Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Park Royal, London, as well as its global cold chain packaging and distribution facility in Havant, Hampshire, will close in 2017 and 2020 respectively, with the loss of around 370 jobs.
“These decisions have nothing to do with Brexit. This review process has been going on since 2010 and the team just felt there were more production capabilities at the site in Belgium to support future demand and to ensure we can support the supply chain,” said a spokesman for the New York City-headquartered company told the UK newspaper The Telegraph.
Pfizer will consolidate its global packaging operations in Puurs, Belgium, which it said will help leverage scale and provide greater network flexibility. The Park Royal complex, which Pfizer inherited with its Hospira acquisition in September, is set to finish production by May 2017, with a site exit planned for August. The company said Park Royal is an aging facility which will require significant investment in the near future and the building lease is due to expire.
Pfizer plans to sell the Havant site as an ongoing pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. It will retain its other manufacturing site in south London, where some capacity will relocate. In 2012, the drugmaker sold its UK flagship facility in Sandwich, Kent, to a private consortium.