During his most recent visit to AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield campus, local MP, David Rutley, was given an update on the latest developments and investments at the site, which is now home to around 4,700 highly skilled employees.
The company’s most recent investment in the site is a continuous manufacturing pilot plant to test and refine methods for faster production and the reduction of waste, which was supported by the Government’s Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund in March last year. This follows a major £280 million investment in 2021 in a new advanced medicines manufacturing facility for one of AstraZeneca’s oncology products, helping to secure hundreds of jobs.
The campus’s leadership team explained how AstraZeneca is not only Macclesfield’s largest employer, but that the site is also the largest pharmaceuticals manufacturing site in the United Kingdom. Latest figures show that it is responsible for £1 of every £10 in exported pharmaceutical products across the country. The Macclesfield site is central to the company’s global operations, being home to its largest packing centre in Europe, which is responsible for shipping more than 50 products to 117 countries.
David was also pleased to hear about the AstraZeneca’s strong commitment to environmental sustainability through its recent partnership with Future Biogas to operate a renewable gas facility in Lincolnshire. The green gas developed at this facility from waste agricultural products will be used by the Macclesfield site, alongside the company’s other facilities in Speke (Liverpool), Cambridge and Luton. This is a significant step in enabling AstraZeneca to achieve its net zero ambitions.
AstraZeneca is also focusing on the future by expanding its successful apprenticeship programme. Macclesfield is now providing 159 apprenticeships across a broad range of levels and disciplines. During the meeting, David discussed the future potential at the site to expand its operations through new capabilities, including the possibility of the campus becoming home to a national skills and training centre for medicine manufacturing.
Following his visit, David said:
“It’s always impressive to see first-hand the industry-leading facilities at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield site, which are constantly evolving and improving. The recent renewable gas announcement is just one example of how this site is playing a critical role, not just locally but on the national stage. I am grateful for the team’s continued commitment to creating opportunities for young people to enter the life sciences sector that is so important to our area. I know the company remains committed to the site and, with the support of Government, has the opportunity to further enhance its capabilities in the years to come.”