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Pharmaceutical plant buyer found

8 September 09 14:15 GMT

A buyer has been found for a Scottish pharmaceutical plant which was closed after its previous owners declared it was "no longer viable".

More than 80 workers were affected when Shasun Pharma Solutions shut the site near Annan in Dumfries and Galloway.

Merseyside-based Phoenix Chemicals Ltd has bought what it called a "world-class facility" for an undisclosed sum.

Chief executive Colin Leece said it was hoped jobs could be offered to people previously employed at the plant.

Shasun announced its proposals to close the site last year and production ceased in March.

It brought to an end nearly 30 years of pharmaceutical work at the site, which was built and commissioned by Glaxo in 1980.

Mr Leece said the purchase would allow the company to move into "wider markets".

He said it would allow Phoenix to offer services at all stages of the "drug life cycle".

"The Annan site has always had the advantage of a dedicated and highly trained workforce with a strong quality culture," he added.

Phoenix currently employs 85 people at its Wirral facility and it hopes to take staff numbers to more than 150 after its Scottish expansion.

'Highly-skilled'

Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell described the announcement as "very welcome news".

"The sale of the site to Phoenix Chemicals secures a high-quality and long-standing pharmaceutical site - and highly-skilled jobs at Newbie," he said.

"I am pleased that the company has recognised the dedicated and highly-trained workforce and will ask the site's former employees if they wish to return.

"I also welcome Phoenix Chemical's longer-term plans to create a total of 150 jobs.''

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