Almac to open major operation in Dundalk - but pledges future to Craigavon
CRAIGAVON pharmaceutical giant Almac is opening a massive new operation in Dundalk and creating 100 jobs - but has stressed its commitment to retaining its headquarters in Craigavon.
The group, established nearly two decades ago by the late Sir Allen McClay, says the move will give it continued access to the European single market market and adds to the footprint it is setting down in regions outside Northern Ireland.
And despite the announcement coming as the UK prepares its exit strategy from the EU, and therefore raises the spectre of it looking to decamp from the north, a spokesman for Almac insisted: "Our base will always, always, be in Craigavon."
Almac already has a facility in the Republic (based in Athlone), part of a global operation which sees it employ around 4,000 people, the majority of whom (2,400) are in Craigavon.
Chief executive Alan Armstrong said: “This investment in Dundalk is a further example of Almac’s ambitious global expansion plans and will deliver up to an additional 100 new jobs within the first two years.
"It comes in addition to our recent announcement of a £27 million investment at our global headquarters site in Craigavon, where we are constructing a new laboratory and adding office facilities, our US operations and our European facility in Athlone.
"These investments will see an increase of Almac’s global headcount to over 5,000 by the end of 2017 and is evidence of our commitment to provide best-in-class products and services to our clients across the world.”
The multi-million pound investment in a 32,000 sq ft plant Dundalk has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Ireland’s inward investment promotion agency IDA Ireland.
It will be utilised by Almac Pharma Services and Almac Clinical Services, both of which are already registered to operate in the Republic.
The Republic's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor said: "This is an exciting project for Dundalk and builds on the strong cluster of multinational companies who have successfully located in the town in recent years and who have found it a great base from which to promote their sales into other EU member states.
"Ireland's expertise in the pharma sector is unrivalled, with virtually all the major international players having operations here, thus generating synergies and opportunities for new companies investing with us."