A £56-million drug manufacturing innovation centre - the first of its kind in the world - has been announced for Renfrewshire in Scotland.

The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) will offer businesses support to transform processes and technologies in small molecule pharmaceutical and fine chemical manufacturing, in the hope of accelerating the availability of medicines to patients.

“Our ambition is for patients worldwide to benefit from the accelerated adoption of emerging and novel medicine manufacturing technologies developed in the UK,” said Andy Evans, chair of the MMIP and head of Macclesfield Site for AstraZeneca.

The project will receive £13 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, while the rest will come from Scottish Enterprise (£15 million), AstraZeneca (£7 million) and GlaxoSmithKline (£7 million).

The Centre, which will be located next to the £65 million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) at the heart of an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, aims to create up to 80 new high value R&D jobs by 2023 and attract over £80 million of R&D investment by 2028.

“This is a strong signal of intent from Government and the pharmaceutical industry that they are ready to get behind the UK as a global leader in medicines manufacturing,” said Mike Thompson, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

"Medicines manufacturing is no longer the siloed, labour intensive process of yesteryear. This cutting edge centre instead provides a unique space for academics, research scientists and manufacturing partners to work side by side designing new ways to transition the medicines of the future out of development and in to the supply chain.”