Novartis has put around 400 jobs at risk at its Grimsby factory as the Swiss pharmaceutical firm embarks on a major cost-cutting drive.
The group said on Tuesday that it will vacate the manufacturing site in north-east Lincolnshire by 2020 as it also announced stinging job cuts in Switzerland.
“Novartis has been a part of the Grimsby community for many years so this has been a very difficult decision.
“The Grimsby site is an effective, well-running operation that is testament to the hard-working and dedicated employees. We will treat every employee with the utmost respect, sensitivity and fairness during this difficult time,” said Haseeb Ahmad, Novartis UK country president.
“This decision has been made alongside broader changes to our business globally, and as a result of the changes in our product portfolio which now focuses on more specialised medicines, reflective of today’s changing healthcare needs.”
Mr Ahmad added that the announcement is part of a global review of manufacturing operations and is not linked to Brexit.
Novartis is weighing options including selling the factory, which could potentially allow it to stay open.
The Swiss firm has a history in Grimsby of more than 50 years and produces specialist healthcare drugs at the site.
Around 395 Novartis employees at the Grimsby site are directly affected by the decision, and additional contactors employed through third parties may also be hit.