Published: 15:39, 04 December 2018
| Updated: 15:48, 04 December 2018
More than 60 workers at a pharmaceutical firm have been told their jobs are under threat.
Staff at Aesica in Queenborough, which is one of Sheppey's largest employers, received the news today.
The firm says it will no longer manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) at the North Road plant. An API is the part of a drug that produces its effects.
Up to 68 roles could be affected.
Gary Reid Aesica’s UK general manager said: “The majority of Aesica’s activities at our Queenborough site are finished dose formulation and the production and packaging of tablets, capsules and liquids for medicines. However, at the site Aesica also manufactures some APIs.
“We regrettably announced to staff our decision to withdraw from API manufacturing activities at Queenborough and we will begin the process of decommissioning the part of the site dedicated to producing these API products.
“Unfortunately, this decision will result in some job losses.
“While we have looked very closely at ways of improving the performance of producing these products, we continue to incur a loss on manufacturing them and cannot justify the significant investment required to upgrade the aged infrastructure.
“We will be consulting with union and employee representatives over coming week to seek ways of minimising the proposed job losses.”
Aesica’s Queenborough base has 450 permanent employees, which means 15% of its workforce is affected.
The shock decision follows a spate of redundancies at the firm in March this year. At the time, staff were told up to 26 people from a number of departments could lose their jobs.
That axe came soon after a restructure at the end of 2017, in which 19 people lost their jobs.