Three thousand jobs on cards for old Pfizer site at Sandwich
Pfizer in Sandwich once
employed 5,000 people
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
The former Pfizer site in east Kent could generate 3,000 hi-tech
and science jobs within five years, its new owners have said
Discovery Park, the 300-acre site at Sandwich, was the drugs
giant's Kent home for more than 50 years and where the drug Viagra
At one time, the site employed more than 5,000 people.
But the New York-based pharmaceutical company stunned the
community last year by announcing it was pulling out - dealing
a huge blow to the local economy.
An east Kent task force persuaded the government to provide
£35million from the Regional Growth Fund and granted Enterprise
Under the Expansion East Kent scheme, these will offer financial
incentives to growing firms to move to the area or accelerate the
expansion of existing ones.
Pfizer has retained some jobs on the site and, together with 13
other firms, they employ around 900 people.
But Discovery Park Limited (DPL), which bought the site in
August, hopes to boost this to 3,000 by 2017.
Discovery Park is a
300-acre site at Sandwich
It plans to attract new tenants, including government scientific
bodies, research organisations and science and technology
businesses to the site.
It will target global brands, especially in the science field,
as well as universities and academic institutions.
The consortium is led by chief executive Chris Musgrave and
chairman Trevor Cartner and supported by investment from Palmer
DPL bosses also operate Wynyard Park, a 700-acre site on
Teesside, home to a thriving business community of more than 65
organisations and 2,000 jobs.
Mr Musgrave said: "Our vision is quite simple, we want
to create a sustainable mixed use community centred around the
world class science and technology offering Discovery Park already
has and which we plan to enhance.
"We have ambitious plans to invest in the Park and in spring
2013, following a period of research and consultation, we will
unveil our master plan for the site."
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