Drugs giant Pfizer puts 270 jobs at risk in Havant

File photo of Pfizer in Havant, taken in 2012
File photo of Pfizer in Havant, taken in 2012
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NEARLY 300 jobs are at risk after Pfizer announced it is to close a major site in Havant.

The global giant is to leave its packaging and distribution base in New Lane, Havant, by 2020.

It comes just four years after the firm revealed it has injected £42m into the location since taking it on in 2009.

Councillor Tony Briggs, deputy leader at Havant Borough Council, said: ‘We’re always concerned when long-standing companies decide to take their manufacturing elsewhere.

‘The bottom line is the council is always trying to encourage companies to locate in Havant.

‘We’re always prepared to talk to people to see if there’s anything we can do locally.

‘But at the end of the day it’s a decision the company involved has made.’

It comes after SSE announced 600 jobs would be at risk when the energy firm announced in March it would quit its Penner Road site.

Asked if he was concerned about the potential loss of high-skilled jobs, Cllr Briggs added: ‘The council is open for businesses and always wanting companies to invest and bring manufacturing and distribution to Havant.’

Pfizer said the decision was not related to Brexit and it would market the facility for sale.

A Pfizer spokeswoman said: ‘The proposed decision to exit these sites is not a reflection of the excellent work performed by our colleagues.

‘It is important to note that these proposals are in no way related to the result of the Brexit decision.’

‘Our priority at this time is to support affected colleagues and where possible to mitigate against job losses resulting from these proposals.’

She added: ‘Over 270 colleagues are currently based at Pfizer’s cold-chain packaging and distribution site at Havant. Our priority at this time is to support affected colleagues.

‘Where possible we will try and mitigate against job losses.

‘Our preference is to sell the site as an ongoing pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.

‘However the market for this type of property is weak so we need to be realistic about our ability to successfully sell it. ‘We are willing to work with the UK development authorities to market the property and find alternate uses.

The drugs shipped from the Havant depot include medicines to treat meningitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, and MRSA. They are distributed to 122 countries around the world.