Accord Healthcare held the official opening of its Fawdon factory on 25th January, with business leaders and local politicians attending the state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility. The factory will employ up to 500 staff at peak, predominately from the local community.
The 22-acre factory, closed by Sanofi in 2015, was formally re-opened by Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North, Catherine McKinnell, through a plaque unveiling with Accord employee Lesley Lavin who previously worked for Sanofi at the factory for many years.
Also in attendance were representatives from Newcastle City Council, local business groups and government bodies , hosted by Accord Healthcare’s Dr James Burt, Executive Vice President Europe & MENA and Tony Cordrey, Accord’s European VP for Strategic Operations.
Commenting on the Fawdon factory opening, Catherine McKinnell MP, said: “I am so pleased to see this site back in productive use, and creating good, skilled jobs in our local economy. Accord’s investment in its Fawdon plant is a real vote of confidence in Newcastle by its owners, and I am delighted that they have such big and exciting plans for the future. Our city has a proud history of innovation and I’m looking forward to supporting Accord Healthcare to play an important part in that.”
Opening with over sixty employees already in place at the Fawdon site, Accord hopes to double this number in the coming months (with more jobs planned when the factory production expands) and is actively recruiting for a multi-skilled workforce. These include a mix of positions from operational positions to scientists to factory floor, for example: procurement, engineering, planning, manufacturing, quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA).
Many of the people already employed are former Sanofi employees, who previously owned the site, including Keith Daniels, Fawdon’s site head, who has returned to his home town to oversee Accord’s operations at the new factory.
Along with sites in Harrow, Barnstaple, Haverhill and Didcot, Fawdon will play a key part in supporting Accord’s position as one of the fastest growing generic pharmaceutical companies in Europe. With dedicated investment and a five-year growth strategy behind it, Fawdon will be the first Accord site to produce generic effervescent medicines and become its regional centre for excellence for effervescent tablets and other types of medicine.
The Fawdon opening will also significantly strengthen Accord’s UK distribution network and offshore activity exporting to over 35 countries across Europe and beyond.
“Fawdon will play a vital role in strengthening our manufacturing network, supported by our parent company Intas and our other UK sites. After seeing many domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing sites close, with production redirected overseas, this opening marks a vote of confidence in the UK’s attractiveness for high tech pharmaceutical manufacturing. We are committed to further strategic investment to support the site’s growth, adding value to the local economy in terms of jobs and exports, as well as furthering patient access to affordable medicines in both the UK and beyond.” said Dr James Burt, Executive Vice President, Europe & MENA, Accord Healthcare.
The Fawdon Centre is currently recruiting for a variety of roles, for more information please email: [email protected]