Alderley Park

Redx Pharma exits Liverpool for HQ at Alderley Park

The drug discovery and development firm is to establish a 74,000 sq ft drug development facility at Alderley Park, Cheshire, bringing together three subsidiary businesses onto one site.

The company has reached an agreement with Manchester Science Partnerships, which will see Alderley Park become the new home for Redx Oncology.

The business develops anti-cancer drugs and is currently based within the Royal Liverpool Hospital’s Duncan Building, which is due to be demolished in 2017.

The Redx group already has two other subsidiaries, Redx Anti-Infectives and Redx Immunology based at Alderley Park in 37,000 sq.ft. of laboratory and office space.

The Redx Pharma move will be completed by the end of the year and will see all 193 Redx staff operate on the same site for the first time, with all 88 Liverpool jobs relocating.

Neil Murray, chief executive of Redx Pharma, said: “Bringing our three teams together will support our ambitious growth plans and give the business some valuable human, scientific and logistical synergies.

“Alderley Park’s high specification laboratories and superlative facilities present a commercially attractive solution as we seek to provide the best infrastructure and environment for our staff. The £30m capital investment that has been committed to the site over the next three years is impressive indeed. It will create one of the most important multi-occupier sites for life science in Europe.”

Alderley Park is 400-acres and was formerly occupied by AstraZeneca. The park is owned by MSP, a Manchester-based public-private partnership and the UK’s largest science park operator. MSP’s shareholders are Bruntwood, University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester, Cheshire East and Salford City Councils.

Your Comments

Sigh, another huge and devastating failure by Liverpool’s leaders here. Obviously the huge amount of Osbourne cash flowing freely into Alderley Park to compensate for AstraZeneca heading south doesn’t help, but the Council and its agencies could have done more. The former Archbishop Blanch site should be on site as a science park extension now but I see no diggers.

Like with gaming, pharma was another traditional Liverpool strength with high growth potential that is slowly dying due to an interconnected mixture of local failure over the last twenty years and more recently the chancellor’s relentless Greater Manchester focus.

Still moaning will do nothing. Can Liverpool’s leaders grab the bull by the horns, bring in investment and create space for innovation. Sadly, it seems ever less likely.

By KZ

This is a very serious blow to Liverpool’s ambitions, we are constantly failed by the politicians that serve us and hindered by outside forces and decisions, I agree with KZ on this matter. This unfortunately has a habit of repeating itself, due to the manipulations of the government and Mr Bean in particuliar…Liverpool needs a strong forceful leader who is savvy with the business community and gets things done and not allow our companies to depart elsewhere.

By Man on bicycle

KZ has a point but Alderley Edge is not Manchester and there is this view from down the East Lancs that everything is going to Manchester.There are granted a lot if proposals, but pressure little happening yet.This second city Tram line has taken longer to build than the Pyramids and the Ordsall chord is a tiny investment compared to the billions in Greater London area.

By Elephant

Not great news for Liverpool but this move, as the article says, is all about the existing world class facilities available at Alderly Park which is a legacy of Manchester’s strength in pharma; the site having been established by ICI when it moved its R&D activities out of its old Blackley site (the remnants of which, the distinctive Hexagon Tower, now accommodates a science park).

Alderley Park has received comparatively little public funding that is not available to other places, only the £5m catapult centre which was a minor sop in the aftermath of AZ moving to Oxford.

The move is all about the superb facilitates and environment at Alderley Park and probably also about being plugged directly into Manchester’s innovation networks via Manchester Science Parks’ and the university’s involvement in the site.

By Pharma

Pharma – Alderley Park isn’t in Manchester.

By Gregg

Suppose we have to thank God they didn’t relocate to Cambridge. At least the Liverpool workforce can travel to Alderley Park.

By Elephant

Gregg, I know that. Try reading my comment again.

By Pharma

Sure, Alderley isn’t in Gtr Manchester technically but it’s within Osbourne’s constituency and the GM sphere of influence.

The Science Park in Liverpool also has all the usual links to the universities, hospitals etc, Adderly’s connections are nothing unique. However Liverpool’s bid to expand this with the Bioinnovation Centre via RGF was turned down the same time as Alderley’s RGF bid was signed off….in addition to the hard cash there’s also the central government focus and sheer will on making is a success so Osbourne’s constitunets don’t vote with their feet about losing such a big part of their economy to Cambridge come election time. That also makes a big difference.

Is it a development out of Blackley? I thought historically what became AstraZeneca owed more to the Brunner Mond part of ICI at the Runcorn/Nantwich end? But could be wrong.

Aside from AstraZeneca M’chester had less past experience with pharma compared to Liverpool City Region which has or had included (Evans (Now Glaxo), Sequris, Dista (Eli Lilly), Prebbles (Now TEVA and Reckitt Beckinser) Squibb, Ayrton Saunders, Thompson and Capper, Manesty etc etc.

However, history counts for very little in fast moving industries unless you develop them, Manesty has now also exited Liverpool for Germany, more jobs gone.

Fair play to Manchester and its environs. It’s citizens have more opportunities due to its dynamic, focused and ruthless leadership. Sure, the dice may be stacked against Liverpool, and not just via Manchester, witness the money the Welsh Government can throw at Aston Martin and TVR compared to L’pool to firms that might have otherwise relocated in Speke. But moaning and finger pointing won’t change things. Getting investment and building facilities will and if we have do to it with very little cash or central govt support they we have to do it with whatever we have. But they will need a relentless focus that they have not been displaying of late.

Similarly Liverpool has been a major centre for filming locations since the 80s but only now do we develop studio and ancillary facilities years after Manchester, Leeds and even Belfast. Always acting when the horse has bolted.

I hope there’s some serious soul searching in the Liverpool inward investment office today. Maybe if they’d focused more on shouting about science park expansion and less about house building in the run up to the election, we’d have a different news story today.

By KZ

Why would you expect any soul searching from them? They’ll still get their salary.

It’s the city region’s RedX staff who will have to do the soul searching, as to whether to endure the punishing commute to Manchester Science Park’s Alderley Park, get another job somewhere else, or whether they abandon the region themselves.

By Mike

What upsets me is this removal of good jobs to places where there already good jobs.This area is the richest place outside London and needs this boost like the Sahara needs sand.If it needs to be near Manchester university. What is wrong with Wythenshawe? Near to the airport. It seems that these wealthy parts of the UK get more and more and people in the poorer areas are stuck with the minimum wage shop and care home jobs.When are the government going to stop allowing this to continue?

By Elephant

Yes Alderley Park came out of ICI’s dyestuffs division at Blackley. The process of bleaching and dyeing is heavily dependent on science and R&D and Blackley was one the largest centres for R&D in that field in Europe, ultimately diversifying into pharmaceuticals and other specialist products. It’s no accident therefore that Manchester was the birthplace of chemical engineering and the first degree courses in that field were pioneered Manchester University, specifically to support the local chemicals industry.

By contrast the activities in Liverpool and Cheshire were much less scientifically orientated and more focussed on the processing of bulk raw materials (Cheshire salt mines and so on), thus you get big names in Pharma with big pill factories in Merseyside (Eily Lily in Speke for example) but not so much in the way of R&D.

RGF has nothing to do with this move so that’s a red herring I’m afraid. The relatively small sums of RGF funding spent at Alderley Park are unconnected with the failure to expand Liverpool’s bioinnovation centre since the bids were to two different funds. Moreover Merseyside has its own dedicated RGF fund for job creation (the Merseyside Special Investment Fund).

I wonder if Liverpool had had sufficient lab and office space of the right spec would, RedX have had no need to move to Alderley Park? It’s not a certainty but it’s an interesting question.

By Pharma

Fair point Mike. Soul searching required then by their managers in the Council’s senior leadership or the voters. All the quangos are gone now. There’s just the local authority. No one else left to blame.

By KZ

Why does there need to be blame? The Alderley site was always going to get filled with pharma jobs from somewhere in the north-west, and its happened to be from Liverpool. Perhaps there is no more to it than that.

By Gregg

It’s not blame, it is action that is required from Liverpool, before Christmas we were told about Archbishop Blanch site, it was going to be developed into a bio centre and so on, the only likely
space it will be are car spaces..

By Man on bicycle

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