AstraZeneca investment is welcome, but budget support is piecemeal

Sharon Todd, Chief Executive

7 March 2024


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SCI is delighted with the news, announced in yesterday’s budget, that AstraZeneca plans to invest £650 million in Britain to boost research, development and manufacturing of vaccines.

This planned investment includes £450 million pounds to research, develop and manufacture vaccines at its manufacturing site in Speke, Liverpool, and another £200 million to expand its existing presence in Cambridge, where its global headquarters are located.

We welcome the chancellor’s announcement confirming the Mansion House reforms for pension funds to release investment for “innovative industry" – and the important recognition that this is needed to encourage businesses to choose to list in the UK.

However, measures to support business and innovation are largely piecemeal and short-term. Major investments in the UK by science-based industry such as that announced by AstraZeneca should not be unusual or unexpected.

Without a robust, long-term industrial strategy, the UK will continue to lose many more opportunities to other countries.

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Notes to editors:

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