British firm Wasdell creates 300 jobs in Dundalk

A British pharmaceutical services firm has said Brexit was one of the key factors in its decision to open a €30m testing and packaging facility in Dundalk, Co Louth, that will see 300 jobs created.

Wasdell Group, which is based in Swindon in the southwest of England, said it would open a pharmaceutical packaging, testing and distribution facility in Dundalk, with the jobs spanning five years.

The privately-owned British company is involved in clinical trials, packing and distribution of biopharmaceutical products, and said the new 70,000sq ft facility would be built at a cost of €30m at at the IDA’s site in Dundalk.

Group managing director Martin Tedham said Brexit was a key reason for its expansion, particularly at the rate its business was expanding.

“We have always had a strong customer base in Ireland and we are certain that this trend will continue with the impending Brexit situation as companies typically from the UK and USA look to securing a base to service their European markets,” he said. The IDA said it wanted to push the border region as one for firms to invest. Chief executive Martin Shanahan said Wasdell would add to the growing cluster of life sciences companies here.

“The availability of this range of clinical and pharmaceutical services will increase the attractiveness of Ireland as an international base for early stage specialty biopharma companies.

“It also an ideal example of the type of Brexit-linked opportunity IDA is working hard to secure,” he said.

The firm, which was formed in 1971, employs 800 staff in Swindon and in its operations in Burnley and Newcastle. Roles in Dundalk will include warehouse operatives, management, engineering and finance.

There were also 40 jobs announced by telecommunications real estate firm Md7 in Dublin. The Californian company, which provides development and real estate services for wireless telecommunications, said Dublin was a strategic location as it expanded in Europe. Its international president Mark Christenson said the ease of doing business and easy access to a multilingual workforce were factors in its expansion.

The jobs follow two UK marine insurance companies who said they would locate here last week because of ongoing Brexit uncertainty. The Standard Club and North P&I both said Dublin was a logical choice as Ireland and the UK had similar business and regulatory environments.

A further 45 jobs were announced by food outlet Freshly Chopped as it partnered with convenience store retailer BWG Group.

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