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Factory revival lands cash tonic

29 October 09 10:59 GMT

Plans to reopen a pharmaceutical plant which shut with the loss of 86 jobs have received funding support.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather confirmed a £400,000 grant for the plans by Merseyside-based Phoenix Chemicals at Newbie near Annan.

The Dumfries and Galloway facility was shut by Shasun Pharma Solutions earlier this year.

The new owners hope to create 58 jobs over the next three years with a capital investment of about £4m.

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.

In September this year Phoenix confirmed it had bought the plant for an undisclosed sum.

On a visit to the south of Scotland factory, Mr Mather confirmed the company had secured a regional selective assistance grant.

He said: "The closure of the Shasun facility in March was a bitter blow to the people of Annan.

"In such challenging circumstances for local economies, the Scottish government is determined to do all we can to support employment.

"I warmly welcome Phoenix Chemicals' acquisition of the Shasun facility and the company's commitment to the area, which is a real boost for Dumfries and Galloway economy."

'Back on line'

He added that the moves in Annan showed there was "reason to be optimistic about Scotland's recovery prospects".

The company's chief executive, Colin Leece, welcomed the Scottish government support.

He said: "Phoenix Chemicals is pleased to have had the opportunity to acquire a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility such as Annan.

"We already have a small team hard at work on the challenges of bringing this facility back on line as an operational plant."

He added that it was hoped the factory could be back up and running by early next year.

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