Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Loughborough factory closure prompts new business call

AstraZeneca in Leicestershire
Highly-paid staff were employed at the site

New employers must be attracted to a Leicestershire town where 1,200 jobs will be lost when a research facility closes, business leaders have said.

Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca said on Tuesday its plant in Loughborough would close by the end of 2011.

Paul Fileman, of the town's chamber of trade and commerce, said new jobs were needed as many of those who worked at the site lived in the area.

He said efforts to attract employers to the area was now paramount.

"We're talking about 1,200 people whose livelihoods have been affected," he said.

Mr Fileman said many of those employed at the site were educated to graduate level and commanded high salaries.

Disposable income

He added: "A lot of those who work at the site live in Loughborough.

"They earn high salaries and that disposable income will be lost to Loughborough.

"It will affect hotels as well because of the number of people who come to meetings at the site, the list just goes on."

He said the effort to attract new employers to the area was now paramount and although efforts had already begun "we need to wind up the scale by an order of magnitude" he added.

Managers at AstraZeneca's research facility on the outskirts of Loughborough met staff to discuss their future on Tuesday.

The firm announced 8,000 worldwide redundancies in January, following more than 12,000 posts going as part of earlier efficiency plans.

Over the past 10 years more than £100m has been spent developing the site.

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