Business

Almac to create 100 jobs in Craigavon at new £20m facility

Dr Robert Dunlop, President & Managing Director, Almac Clinical Services; Alan Armstrong, Chairman & CEO, Almac Group, and Graeme McBurney, President & Managing Director, Almac Pharma Services at the new facility at Almac's global headquarters in Craigavon.
Gareth McKeown

PHARMACEUTICAL giant Almac is to create up to 100 jobs in Craigavon at its newly completed £20 million cold store facility.

The Almac Group has just opened the state-of-the-art 95,000 sq ft facility at its Co Armagh headquarters and the cold store, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, will directly lead to the to the creation of 100 new jobs.

With over 30 years’ experience in the field of global distribution and management of temperature sensitive drug products, the expansion strengthens Almac’s ability to provide a seamless, best-in-class service to its growing global client base by ensuring efficient and effective delivery of both clinical supplies and commercial drug products.

The cold store has been purpose built in response to customer requirements, which includes consideration to the rapidly growing area of orphan drug products, changes to regulatory compliance and a more stringent focus on data across the supply chain. The additional capacity and tailored design also offers clients the opportunity to scale up with Almac as their biologic/biosimilar product portfolio increases.

The new facility complements Almac’s existing global clinical supply and drug product capabilities by boasting over 3,000 pallet spaces including -15°C to -25°C storage capacity, additional 2°C to 8°C secondary production rooms, 3PL processing areas and a custom designed clinical labelling suite. Supplementary office space has also been included to accommodate the additional 100 new staff who will be recruited as a result of the expansion.

Almac Group CEO, Alan Armstrong said the major investment reaffirms the company's commitment to Craigavon and Northern Ireland.

"We have, once again, set the industry standard with an additional £20 million investment in our comprehensive global clinical and commercial supply chain offering. This new facility expands our cold storage capacity by 300 per cent and our frozen storage capabilities by over 50 per cent, enabling us to better serve our clients, and ultimately patients, worldwide thereby maintaining our position as a global leader in the life sciences sector.”

The opening of the new Craigavon facility comes just over a month after Almac announced it is injecting significantly more resources into its Dundalk operation to help further ‘Brexit-proof’ the business. The company is investing £30 million in its European campus in Co Louth to ensure it meets what is says is “current and future client needs in the EU marketplace”. The investment followed the firm's acquisition of Athlone based BioClin Laboratories in November in a multi-million pound deal and expansion at its other Athlone business, Arran Chemical Company, In a busy 2017 the company also completed a £5 million expansion of its existing analytical facilities at its global headquarters in Craigavon, with the opening of a new laboratory and office facility.

The Almac Group employs almost 5,000 people worldwide, the majority of which are based in Co Armagh.

Established nearly two decades ago by the late Sir Allen McClay, last year the company reported turnover of £447m and a healthy pre-tax profit of £26.8m.

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