GlaxoSmithKline has officially opened a new £44 million aluminium salts facility in Montrose, Scotland, which is set to supply ingredients for around 400 million vaccines a year.

Sterile aluminium salts - which enhance the body’s response to immunisation - will be produced at the site to supply facilities in France, Belgium and Singapore producing vaccines that protect against diseases such as tetanus and pneumonia.

The salts facility is expected to be fully operational in 2019, adding a further 15 highly-skilled jobs to the firm’s existing workforce in the area of 450.

“More than 20 million people a day rely on what we manufacture here at Montrose,” noted site director, Les Thomson.

“We manufacture the active ingredients for a range of GSK medicines for patients with conditions including respiratory illnesses and HIV. With this new facility, we’ll be making a key ingredient for approx. 70 percent of our vaccines portfolio, protecting against diseases such as pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.”

“GSK has been in Montrose for more than 60 years, and I am delighted they chose this site as their dedicated vaccines facility,” said first minister Nicola Sturgeon, opening the facility. “As well as creating very highly skilled jobs, the site will also be critical to helping to vaccinate millions worldwide against preventable diseases.”