Britain's largest drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC announced on Thursday plans to invest £500 million ($792 million) in U.K. manufacturing operations, opening a facility in Scotland that is expected to create 1,000 jobs over the coming years.
The announcement comes a day after U.K. Finance Minister George Osborne released a budget that includes a patent box plan, which cuts the level of corporate taxes on income from patents and was instrumental in sparking GlaxoSmithKline's investment plans.
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 will not only be discovered, but can also continue to be made here in Britain, said GSK CEO Sir Andrew Witty in a statement.
The company selected Ulverston in Cumbria to build its first manufacturing facility in almost 40 years. Construction on the £350 million factory will begin in 2014 or 2015. GSK will invest another £100 million in existing manufacturing sites in Scotland.
The investment comes at a difficult time for the U.K. economy, with retail sales falling more than expected. The nation had grown largely dependent upon pharmaceutical companies for a substantial chunk of its manufacturing output, but drugmakers have suffered from a rash of expiring patents and shipping operations to low-tax nations such as Ireland and Singapore, according to Reuters.
This is excellent news, a major investment that will create many highly skilled jobs and provide a great boost to the economy, said Prime Minister David Cameron. We have a world class life sciences industry, and I am determined not just to keep it here in the U.K. but significantly increase it too. We cannot be complacent, the industry is changing, and we must change with it.