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GSK closes site earlier than planned

GlaxoSmithKline has brought forward the closure of its Dartford plant as planning permission is sought for the site

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to close its Dartford, UK, plant in six months, earlier than originally planned.

Since the plant's closure was announced in November 2008, about 450 staff have been made redundant by the drug manufacturer. The remaining 180 workers will all be laid off by October, with 60 due to leave this month.

The announcement brings forward the original date for closure, which was the end of 2012.

An outline planning application for between 950 and 1,050 new homes was placed with Dartford Borough Council on Monday. The application is also for between 2,500 and 5,000sq m of commercial space, which could create between 80 and 150 jobs.

The move will end more than 120 years of pharmaceutical production at East Hill, Dartford.

The announcement comes as Novartis said it would cut over 500 jobs at its plant in Horsham. Pfizer has also recently announced it is to cut around 2,400 jobs with the closure of its facility in Sandwich, Kent.

17th March 2011

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