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Pfizer plots job salvage operation

Wednesday March 16th 2011

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is holding talks with various companies to prevent the potential loss of more than 2,000 jobs due to the closure of its UK research and development (R&D) centre in Sandwich, Kent, in two years' time, a report has revealed.

The first Sandwich Economic Development Task Force report revealed that Pfizer is hoping to transfer staff and assets to so-called contract research organisations (CROs) on the Sandwich site.

The report also outlines attempts to stimulate jobs and growth in the region, and urges the Government to designate the area as a research, innovation and technology zone, which would ensure it qualifies for tax and planning breaks.

It said: "Pfizer is currently in detailed and commercial in confidence negotiations with a number of CROs, which could provide a positive basis around which further economic activity and job opportunities can be generated."

Meanwhile, medical experts said Pfizer's decision to close its Kent site was "devastating" for British science, especially as it comes after several other job cuts in the UK R&D industry.

The plant's closure will affect 2,400 staff directly employed at the Sandwich site and will result in significant indirect job losses through contractors and the supply chain supporting Pfizer's business.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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