SmithKline Beecham said it will consolidate the majority of its U.K. pharmaceutical research and development activities at Harlow, Essex.
The company has reached agreement to buy the 40-acre site of British Petroleum's former maritime headquarters in Harlow, adjacent to SB's existing R&D facility. This will enable SB to consolidate its U.K. R&D activities onto three sites by 1997, from the present seven. The acquisition of this facility provides enough land to eventually consolidate all U.K. pharmaceutical R&D in one location, if desired."The consolidation to Harlow, at an initial cost of over 200 million pounds sterling ($298 million), represents a clear commitment to a major R&D effort in the United Kingdom," commented George Poste, chairman R&D, Pharmaceuticals.
"R&D staff now drive 1.5 million miles annually between U.K. sites. Eliminating travel to and from Brockham Park, Great Burgh, Reigate and Worthing will greatly reduce this waste of time and effort," Mr. Poste said.
SB had planned to upgrade its present U.K. sites by constructing new buildings and refurbishing older facilities at a number of sites north and south of London. However, the opportunity arose to consolidate at Harlow when the BP facility was put up for sale.