Bio-pharma company to expand Irvine facility


First Minister Alex Salmond announced today that global company Sigma Aldrich is expanding its operations in Scotland by investing in the development of a new powder manufacturing facility on its Irvine site.

At the beginning of a visit to Chicago that will include a number of meetings with key business leaders, the First Minister confirmed the new facility will be used to service customers across Europe and will create 24 new jobs. The project is being supported by a £1.5 million Regional Selective Assistance grant from Scottish Enterprise.

While in Chicago Mr Salmond will also play a major role in the handover ceremony of the Ryder Cup, which is expected to inject £100 million into the Scottish economy when it comes to Gleneagles in 2014.

The First Minister said:

“This is fantastic news for Scotland, for Ayrshire and for Irvine. This expansion to create a new manufacturing facility by SAFC puts Scotland firmly at the centre of this US company’s European operations and is a clear signal to world-leading companies that we are open for business.”

The First Minister and Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Lena Wilson will meet representatives of the company in Chicago today (28 September) to discuss the company’s plans and look at further options to grow its Scottish operations.

The First Minister added:

“It is clear that Scotland is a land of major opportunity and we have a long and impressive track record in the chemicals and life sciences sector, developing an environment where ingenuity and innovation can create jobs and wealth. This is the clear message I will be sending out to a number of companies with whom I will be meeting during this trade mission in Chicago.”

SAFC is a top 10 global fine chemical supplier and manufacturer of specialty chemicals and biologics to the life science and high technology industries, will add to its existing liquid manufacturing capability in Irvine by investing in the development of a new powder manufacturing facility. SAFC’s new facility in Irvine is their second powder manufacturing facility, which will support and strengthen SAFC’s risk management program, providing an internal back-up supplier for its customers.

Gilles Cottier, President at SAFC, said:

“The liquid facility investment at Irvine was a significant move for SAFC as part of our strategy to support our key European biopharmaceutical accounts. We are delighted to expand on that initial investment and look forward to continued success in Scotland and throughout Europe.”

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said:

“SAFC is a major employer and this latest investment will anchor their operations here in Scotland. The Irvine site is already a strategic part of the company’s wider European operations and this latest investment will help to ensure it can continue to meet the needs of its international customer base.

“By working with inward investors like SAFC and its parent company, Sigma-Aldrich Corporation – at the corporate level through Scottish Development International in the US, as well as locally through our teams on the ground in Scotland – we can ensure they grow their presence in Scotland once they’re operational with this expansion.”

SAFC made a significant multi-million dollar investment to upgrade its liquid handling capabilities at Irvine in 2009, supported by a £200,000 RSA grant from Scottish Enterprise. Scottish Enterprise has also worked with the company through its account management approach since 2009, offering tailored support, including specialist advice from Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service to improve efficiency on-site.