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Research centre to provide hundreds of jobs in Slough area

A multimillion-pound pharmaceutical facility is set to create hundreds of jobs in the Slough area.

Global biopharmaceutical company UCB has announced it will build a £150-£200million centre for research and development ‘in or close to the wider Slough area’.

The new centre will provide about 650 new ‘high-skilled’ jobs.

UCB currently already has one base in the area, in Bath Road near Salt Hill, and is now in the process of deciding the location of the new site.

Wendy McGuire, corporate account manager at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, said this was good news for Slough.

“With a thriving business community, regional infrastructure links including an array of projects that will make the area even more popular such as Western Rail Link Access to Heathrow, it is easy to see why it has become the town of choice for so many,” she said.

Jean-Christophe Tellier, UCB chief executive officer, added: “At UCB, we are proud of our heritage in the UK and I am very pleased to announce our planned investment to support the construction of a major R&D hub in the UK.

“It will enable us to build upon our numerous active collaborations with UK universities, biotechs and medical research charities, and continue our successful track record of bringing innovative medicines discovered in the UK to patients globally.”

The new facility is part of UCB’s planned £1bn investment in the UK over the next five years.

The announcement comes following a deal between the government and the life sciences industry that seeks to develop artificial intelligence to develop new treatments. Another part of the deal aims to ensure investment from the life sciences industry will support healthcare and encourage businesses to create ‘high-paid, high-quality’ jobs.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “From the first vaccine to the discovery of DNA, the UK has always been at the forefront of medical endeavour and healthcare innovations. That is why we are building on our unique strengths by placing life sciences at the centre of our modern industrial strategy. The announcement of UCB’s investment in new research and development is a clear vote of confidence in UK life sciences research base and business.”

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