Jobs boost for GSK plant in Dungarvan

GOOD news for the town of Dungarvan — and for smokers worldwide — was unveiled yesterday evening at the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical plant.

Fifty jobs will be created in the west Waterford town through a €30 million investment programme, which will concentrate on the production of a new product aimed at smokers who want to kick the habit.

The announcement was made as Social Affairs Minister Martin Cullen officially opened a separate, recently completed, €23m expansion at the company’s site.

GlaxoSmithKline currently employs 1,450 people in Ireland and the planned investment will result in a further 50 high-quality jobs on the Dungarvan campus over the coming three years.

The jobs, supported by IDA Ireland, will be in the areas of production, quality, technical, and engineering, involving a product to aid smoking cessation for supply to all markets outside of North America.

Yesterday’s opening establishes a new granulation and compression facility and provides increased production capacity for the introduction of new products in GlaxiSmithKline’s internationally-established Panadol range.

Mr Cullen, who was on site with GSK chairman Sir Christopher Gent, described the expansion plans as “a major vote of confidence” in the Dungarvan facility and the capability of the town to support such strategic developments.

“The investments underpin the existing operation and its workforce, and will create excellent additional employment opportunities,” said the minister.

“They will also significantly enhance the facility’s role in GSK’s global business.”

He congratulated local management and staff on their “commitment and success”.

Dungarvan’s biggest employer, GSK has 700 staff across two manufacturing operations in the town. Its other Irish operations are at Cork (manufacturing) and Dublin (sales and marketing).

The Dungarvan expansion opened yesterday involves the manufacture of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in tablet form for global markets, for brands such as Panadol, Panadol Extra, Coldrex, and Solpadeine.

Their other Dungarvan operation, GlaxoSmithKline Oral Care, was an existing facility acquired by GSK in 2001 and is engaged in the global manufacture of denture care products, principally under the Polident, Poligrip and Corega brand names.

GSK vice-president and site director in Dungarvan, Michael Tyler, said yesterday: “This is a significant investment for the Dungarvan community and recognises the confidence and trust GSK has in our employees.”

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