£5m for new centre in medicines technology at Alderley Park

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited Alderley Park today to announce that the best of the UK's businesses, scientists, clinicians and engineers are to work side-by-side in a new 'Catapult in Medicines Technologies'.

On a visit to Redx pharmaceuticals, Mr Osborne built further on plans to put science and innovation at the heart of building the Northern Powerhouse ensuring that the region maximises the potential of the state of the art facilities at Alderley Park.

Catapult centres were launched in 2011, bringing together business with researchers with the aim of helping start-ups bring ideas to market that might otherwise struggle because of a lack of funding, expertise or facilities.

Alderley Park has strong links to research organisations, universities and businesses in the area, making it ideally suited to the development of pre-clinical medicines technologies.

The new 'Catapult in Medicines Technologies' will be kick started with £5m worth of funding in 2015/16 to start a new research programme in pharmaceuticals and technologies.

The news builds on the £69 million investment in Catapults that the Chancellor announced at Budget 2014 and further builds on plans to build a Northern Powerhouse.

The Chancellor said "To make the most of Britain's leading expertise in science and innovation we must back ideas at every step of the way. Today's news and £5m investment will help put the UK in a world leading position to support every single stage of the life sciences innovation life cycle and is exactly what is needed to develop the next generation of unbeatable British leaders in this area.

"I am particularly pleased to announce that Alderley Park will benefit from this investment as this is another step in putting science and innovation right at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse."

Councillor Michael Jones said: "This is fantastic news for Cheshire East and Alderley Park and demonstrates the confidence this government has in the work that we are all doing here in the Borough and in Manchester towards the rebuilding of science and medical research in the North West.

"This also represents a great boost to start-ups and small businesses who need that extra financial leg-up and expert resource to help them on their way.

"This will also lead to more jobs and growth and we are determined to achieve our ambition to create 7,000 new jobs in the coming years.

"Two years ago some were in the depths of despondency after AstraZeneca announced its withdrawal from Alderley Park.

"Now we can smile again and look forward to a bright future on the world stage."

Photo credit: John Parker Lee.

Alderley Park, Catapult in Medicines Technologies, George Osborne