Northern Powerhouse life sciences firms annually contribute £10.8 billion to the UK economy

UK Trade & Investment, Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP and UKTI Life Sciences Organisation (LSO), which works to bring high quality inward investment into the UK, announced the publication of a report on Tuesday that reveals life sciences firms in the North of England are contributing GBP10.8bn to the UK economy each year.

According to the report, more than 1,000 life sciences businesses in the Northern Powerhouse export over GBP8.1bn of medicinal and pharmaceutical products per year, supporting at least 38,000 high skilled jobs.

Data shows that the UK’s GBP56bn life sciences industry is a powerhouse in the Northern economy and of the 1,000 life and health science companies in the Northern Powerhouse, 97%  are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that provide a strong supply chain for new investors to the area.

These figures come from the 2015 Strength and Opportunity Report and form part of a new Northern Powerhouse life sciences brochure that has been created to drive inward investment into the thriving life sciences sector in the North. This work was commissioned by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and was created in collaboration with the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), a partnership established by the leading Universities and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England to improve the health and wealth of the region by creating an internationally recognised life science and healthcare system.

World class facilities that the North has to offer are showcased in the brochure and include: a GBP38m National Biologics Manufacturing Centre within the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) which will host the GBP20m CPI Biologics Factory of the Future; the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Centre, an investment of GBP4m in AMR therapeutics development Medicines Discovery Catapult, a joint private-public initiative to support the development of new antibiotics and diagnostics through a fully integrated development capability; and Alderley Park in Cheshire, which has had over GBP550m invested by AstraZeneca in world-class facilities and infrastructure over the past ten years. 

In addition, one of the Europe’s strongest clusters in biological, medical and surgical manufacturing, which includes Eli Lilly, Allergan, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Seqirus, JRI Orthopaedics and DePuy Synthes, is situated in the North of England.

Freeman announced the data at the BioTrinity Conference in London and remarked:

“Through our life sciences strategy we are creating jobs, opportunities and security across the North. With its world-leading universities, innovative life sciences companies and millions of NHS patients across the region, the North has unique capabilities with excellent growth potential for international investors.”

Professor Ian Greer, NHSA chair, and vice-president and dean of The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, added:

“The great universities and NHS organisations of the North have been working collaboratively with each other and industry to establish some of the most advanced facilities populated by world-leading experts in their field.

“Together with a 15 million population there is a massive untapped resource for international investors and industry to work with the Northern Powerhouse for mutual benefit.”