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GSK plans to create up to 5,000 jobs in new Stevenage biotech hub

Drug and pharmaceuticals giant GSK is set to create up to 5,000 new jobs over the next ten years as part of plans to create one of Europe’s largest biotechnology campuses in Hertfordshire.

Bosses said they will seek a development partner to transform land within the company’s existing 92-acre research and development (R&D) site in Stevenage.

The company hopes the plans will help unlock up to £400 million in new investments from a private sector developer as part of a partnership with the local council, UK Government and entrepreneur bodies.

Plans will be drawn up next year for the site, which already hosts one of GSK’s two main global R&D facilities alongside its current biotechnology hubs Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, which have attracted start-ups that have raised around £1.6 billion of funding.

Tony Wood, senior vice president of medicinal science and technology at GSK, said: “The past 18 months has shown the UK life sciences sector at its best and the UK has recently unveiled an ambitious 10-year vision for the UK life sciences sector.

“Our goal is for Stevenage to emerge as a top destination for medical and scientific research by the end of the decade. We are excited to find a development partner to realise our vision to foster the next generation of world-class scientists and biotechnology firms in Britain.”

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst chief executive Sally Ann Forsyth said: “Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is home to over 40 companies and today’s proposal presents exciting opportunities to build on this by supporting their growth, attracting new organisations to the ecosystem and facilitating further collaboration with world-class organisations.”

It is believed the new campus could create more than one million square feet of new floorspace for commercial life sciences research and development.