More than 1,700 jobs are set to be created in the UK by two pharmaceutical giants, the Government has announced as it unveiled its new industrial strategy.
Life sciences company MSD has agreed to open a new life sciences discovery research facility in the UK, supporting a total of 950 jobs in high-skilled and high-value research roles.
Additionally, diagnostics company QIAGEN will expand its Manchester presence – a move which could see the creation of 800 skilled jobs.
The announcement comes a week after the European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority both decided to quit London because of the Brexit vote – meaning the loss of more than 1,000 skilled jobs from the UK.
Announcing the new investment, Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “MSD’s commitment today, and the wider Sector Deal investment we have secured, proves the process outlined in the Industrial Strategy can give companies the confidence and direction they need to invest in the UK.
“It will ensure Britain continues to be at the forefront of innovation and represents a huge vote of confidence in our Industrial Strategy.”
MSD’s Research Laboratories president Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter said of the investment: “Strong discovery capabilities and the pursuit of scientific excellence are foundational to MSD’s mission to save and improve lives around the world.
“A new UK location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing UK life sciences community, while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem.”
The Industrial Strategy will outline the Government’s plan to address the UK’s underlying productivity challenge, with a focus on five key foundations: Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment, Places.
Less than a week ago the Office for Budget Responsibility revised down its projections for the UK’s growth, with low productivity levels highlighted as a reason for the sluggish economy.
Hands said: “Britain’s productivity performance has not been good enough, and is holding back our earning power as a country.
“So this Industrial Strategy deliberately strengthens the five foundations of productivity: ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places.
“By acting together as a nation, and in a sustained way, to improve the underperforming conditions for productivity we can drive up our earning power.”
HuffPost UK approached Labour for a reaction, but no one from the press team responded to our request for a comment.