Brexit blamed for Bolton pharma firm closure

'Grim news for Bolton economy', says Unite

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The pressures of Brexit and the potential impact on customers have been blamed for the closure later this year of Catalent, the pharmaceutical  company in Bolton, Unite said today (January 11).

It is estimated that 150 jobs could be lost when the Westhoughton site, part of a US multinational, implements the phased closure over the next nine months.

Unite, which has 77 members affected, said that the closure was ‘a body blow for the Bolton economy’ and ‘desperately sad’ for the employees and their families. The union pledged maximum support to its members in the coming weeks and months.

Unite regional officer Andrew Johnson said, “We understand that the pressures created by Brexit and the uncertainty felt by some customers at our exit from the Single Market were the deciding factors for Catalent executives.

“This is grim news for the Bolton economy, and very sad for our members and their families. As a country, we can ill-afford to lose such pharma capacity if the UK economy is to prosper in the future.

“We understand that any existing work undertaken in Bolton will be transferred to the Catalent sites in the US, Germany and Bathgate in Scotland,” he added.

“Unite is working very hard with management to mitigate the job losses,” Johnson went on to say. “Some of the company’s employees already work from home and they may be able to continue to do so.

“We are also aware that many local companies and those in the supply chain have expressed an interest in helping these highly skilled workers secure new employment – we are grateful for any additional support and will be actively exploring these avenues.”

By Shaun Noble

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