Decision was prompted by news of tax break on profits from U.K.-owned IP.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has confirmed it will invest over £500 million across manufacturing sites across the U.K. to increase capacity for the production of APIs for therapeutics and vaccines. The investment will include construction of a new, £350 million facility at Ulverston in Cumbria, which will represent the first new GSK manufacturing plant to be built in the U.K. for some 40 years. GSK says it may in fact double its total investment in the new facility to £700 million.

Two existing facilities in Scotland will benefit from another £100 million, and sites in Hertfordshire and county Durham will share £80 million. The investment in the Hertfordshire site will increase manufacturing capacity for GSK’s next-generation respiratory inhalation device. At the County Durham site GSK plans to establish a dermatology manufacturing center of excellence. The firm estimates that overall 1,000 new jobs could be created.

GSKs announcement comes within 24 hours of the U.K. government announcing its “patent box” initiative, which introduces a lower rate of corporaton tax on profits generated from U.K.-owned intellectual property. The move has been designed to encourage R&D and related manufacturing in the U.K.

“The introduction of the patent box has transformed the way in which we view the U.K. as a location for new investments, ensuring that the medicines of the future wil not only be discovered, but can also continue to be made here in Britain,” comments GSK CEO, Sir Andrew Witty. “We are also actively considering other investments in our U.K. manufacturing network which would create further jobs and reinforce the U.K.’s international competitiveness as a world leader in life sciences.”  

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