Novartis will cease all operations at its Horsham site later this year it was confirmed yesterday (Wednesday February 26).
The pharmaceutical giant announced in November 2013 that it was consulting on the closure of the site, off Parsonage Road, with nearly 400 jobs at risk.
Following that announcement Novartis, which is one of the largest employers in the town, said today it expected research operations to cease by the end of June.
A spokesperson for Novartis said: “Following the announcement we made in November 2013 about the possible future of the R&D site in Horsham, we can now confirm that we will closing the site later this year. We expect research operations at the site to cease by the end of June.
“This is a result of a global review of our R&D locations and where best to co-locate research teams to support collaboration. It is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to align resources to serve patients and customers better in a challenging healthcare marketplace.
“This will be difficult news for our employees, and supplier partners, based at the site and we will work closely with everyone over the next few months to provide them with suitable support.
“Associates impacted by these changes have been engaged in a full and committed group consultation process. Novartis has provided support to associates throughout this process and will continue to do so during the individual consultations which will now take place.
“We do not yet know the future of the site but are committed to exploring a range of options, working closely with our partners to identify potential new owners. These options could include the use of part of the site for a science or business park.
“This news does not affect the rest of Novartis current UK business in developing, manufacturing and marketing prescription and over the counter medicines, vaccines and eye care products for patients who need them, as well as animal health products.
“Novartis will continue to employ over 2500 people and be a major inward investor to the UK. We will retain an extensive footprint in the UK with manufacturing sites at Grimsby (Chemical Operations), Liverpool (Vaccines) and Dundee (Animal Health), commercial offices in Surrey, and a team at Sittingbourne, Kent, developing near patient diagnostic testing products.”