Almac unveils £30m 'Brexit-proof' plans for Dundalk campus
Northern Ireland pharmaceutical giant Almac has announced further investment plans for its £30m Co Louth site, a move protecting it against Brexit uncertainty.
The company, which employs nearly 5,000 people around the world in contract drug development and manufacture, said inspections at its Dundalk campus had now been completed by the Republic's regulatory body.
Almac said the opening of the site has been prompted by Brexit, as well as being part of its global expansion plans, and will enable it to maintain "seamless" access to the single market.
It's due to open in January next year and "complements the existing clinical supply and drug product development" carried out at its global headquarters in Craigavon, Co Armagh, Almac said.
The company added: "The new European campus significantly increases the group's global footprint and provides an expanded presence within the EU for both clinical trial supplies and commercial drug product operations, thereby providing uninterrupted service provision to its global clients."
In further details on the Dundalk campus - around 40 minutes drive from its Craigavon base - Almac said it would have a laboratory and packaging facility for commercial drugs, as well as a 79,000 sq ft distribution centre for clinical trial supply.
The company said it had invested in all its operations and workforces over the last 18 months across the USA, Asia and UK.
And it added there would be new jobs in all locations in the next 18 months, including at its Co Armagh headquarters.
Chief executive and chairman Alan Armstrong said: "Achieving these successful Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) inspections is a key milestone.
"In addition, the announcement today of further expansion will ensure our current and future clients receive a seamless solution with access to the EU marketplace.
"Crucially, this will ensure an uninterrupted service provision through any uncertainty Brexit may bring, and for the future, keeping Almac as a global leader in the life sciences sector."
Martin Shanahan, chief executive of the Republic's inward investment agency the IDA, welcomed the investment, saying: "Companies continue to choose Ireland as a location which provides certainty of access to the EU in the long term post-Brexit."
As well as operations in the British Isles, Almac also has bases in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California, and in Singapore and Tokyo. It was founded by Sir Allen McClay in 2002.