County Armagh pharmaceutical group Almac is creating 348 jobs in a £54m investment.
The development is being supported with Invest NI grants of £5.5m.
The Almac Group operates in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors providing services including drug discovery, diagnostics, research and development, manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients, formulation development and clinical trials.
It employs over 2,100 staff at its headquarters in Craigavon, with an additional 1,380 staff located in facilities throughout the rest of the UK, US and Asia. The investment, supported by Invest Northern Ireland, relates to two of the Group’s operating business units, Pharma Services and Clinical Services.
Announcing the investment, Arlene Foster said: “Almac is one of Northern Ireland’s most successful indigenous companies and a globally respected brand. This significant investment will enable the company to expand the range of services it can offer, allowing it to respond to key trends within the pharmaceutical industry and enhance its market-leading position.”
Almac Pharma Services provides contract development and manufacturing services to the world’s leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies. As well as recruiting 141 new staff over the next five years, the company will invest in new technologies and equipment to take advantage of the growing demand for outsourced development services.
Almac Clinical Services provides clinical packaging, labelling, logistics and clinical supply chain management services to the pharmaceutical industry. It is investing in cold chain storage and distribution facilities and enhanced information systems to capitalise on the demand from clients for closer partnering opportunities. The unit is creating 181 new jobs over the next five years.
The investments will also create a further 26 new jobs within the Group.
Arlene Foster added: “The 348 new jobs will generate salaries of over £9.4million per annum when the projects are fully implemented. This is a significant cash injection for the local economy. The investments are also good news for our growing life sciences sector, which is gaining an international reputation for innovation and excellence.”
Invest NI has offered Almac Group £5.5million of support towards its investment.
Alan Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of the Almac Group, said: “We are fortunate to employ an excellent highly-skilled workforce at our Craigavon headquarters which has played a major role in our global growth. It’s fantastic that demand for our services has resulted in the creation of so many new jobs as we embark on further expansion over the next five years.”